PREP BASKETBALL: Hunter, Logue lead South past Chico
CHICO, Calif. — It’s been an eventual 22 days for the South Medford girls basketball team — and that’s even without playing a game.
Between games being canceled or rescheduled in hopes of playing and then ultimately canceled for good, the Panthers have seen a lot take place even though they haven’t actually played a game since a Dec. 21 win over South Salem.
On Thursday night, South Medford finally got back on the court and got its season going again, kicking off a three-day trip through California with a 77-44 win over Chico (Calif.).
South (6-1), ranked fifth in the Class 6A coaches poll, used a strong second-half performance on defense to put Chico (13-4) — which entered the game on a 10-game winning steak — away once and for all.
“The second half, we came out much more focused defensively,” said South Medford head coach Tom Cole. “We gave up 35 points in the first half and in the second half we gave up nine. It was just a very different effort.”
South was without senior forward Tanesha Coley, who is out the rest of the season after suffering a knee injury in practice, as well as two players who were out due to COVID-19.
But junior standout Donovyn Hunter and UC Riverside-bound senior Sierra Logue carried the bulk of the workload on offense. Hunter scored 16 of her game-high 27 points in the second half and pulled down seven rebounds, while Logue recorded a double-double with 24 points — 18 of which came in the first half — and 10 rebounds.
“Both of those kids were huge and they’ve been consistently big contributors in all of our games. They give us a couple of different dimensions,” said Cole of Hunter and Logue. “We really felt the absence of Tanesha tonight. It was not the rhythm we were playing at prior to losing her. But other kids have to step up and we’ve got a couple of kids who have big shoes to fill. I think it starts with those two kids who led us tonight, but we’re going to have to get production out of other that may not have been in that same place.
“There’s some holes to fill, and whether we fill those collectively or find some kids to really step up and individually increase their production we definitely miss her.”
South Medford jumped out of the gates fast to grab a 16-0 lead and led 28-11 after the opening quarter. But Chico flipped the script and outscored South 24-11 in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 39-35 at the half.
“Defensively, it was a weird game,” said Cole. “It was the first time we played in a month, so it was almost like we were starting a new season after we already started one. We’d played a total of six games going into tonight, our last game was Dec. 21, and we’ve lost seven straight games (to cancellation). ... We got up on them 16-0 and then we played a little relaxed and then all of the sudden it’s a four-point game at halftime.”
But thanks to South’s defensive effort in the second half, the visiting Panthers were able to take control once again. South quickly extended its lead to 59-40 heading into the fourth quarter.
South junior guard Kendall Fealey added eight points, while sophomore Kimberly Ceron chipped in five points and five rebounds.
Sophomore Taylee Clements scored a team-high 14 points for Chico and hit four of her team’s eight 3-pointers.
South Medford continues its road trip through California with games at the Nike Showcase in Stockton against Woodside (Calif.) and Lincoln (Calif.) today and Saturday, respectively.
“After you’ve practiced, get into the season and then to have what’s happened to us with cancellations and then the injury, it’s just been a lot of time down,” Cole said. “To get a game in, a month later, felt really strange. To get a rhythm before we go into conference — we turn around next week and have a big schedule — we’d like to have had more under our belt to play the two opponents that we’re going to play this weekend, but win or lose I think it will be good for us because we need to adjust. Right now,. it’s just about getting games.”
SOUTH MEDFORD (77): Settle 4, Hunter 27, Dillard 5, Ceron 6, Logue 24, Bullock 0, T. Schmerbach 3, Fealey 8. Totals: 34 7-11 77.
CHICO (44): Huffman 0, Vieg 4, Nelson 0, S. Sims 3, Clements 14, Gonzalez 6, Cavina 2, Wilkerson 13, C. Sims 2. Totals: 17 2-2 44.
South Medford28112018— 77
3-point goals — South Medford 2 (Hunter 2), Chico 8 (Clements 4, Wilkerson 3, S. Sims 1).
ROGUE VALLEY ADVENTIST 70, NORTH LAKE/PAISLEY 37: Behind a big second-half outburst, Rogue Valley Adventist was able to turn an eight-point halftime lead into a runaway win in Mountain Valley League action.
Junior guard David Zamudio scored a game-high 25 points along with five rebounds and four steals for the Red Tail Hawks (11-2, 3-1 MVL), who outscored the Cowboys 41-16 after leading 29-21 at halftime.
Fellow junior guard Cody Mendenhall had 12 points and five rebounds, while senior guard Bryce Perry added 10 points, seven assists and five rebounds.