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South Medford stumbles in Showcase finale

STOCKTON, Calif. — Fifth-ranked South Medford saw the tables turned Saturday morning and just couldn’t get over the hump in falling 67-59 to Lincoln High of California on the final day of the girls basketball Nike MLK Showcase.

Typically a team that unsettles its opponent for a game-turning quarter, the Panthers (7-2) faced the other end of that spectrum against Lincoln, which used a 23-7 edge in the second quarter to put South in scramble mode thereafter.

“The second quarter was just awful and that put us down 16 at the half,” said Panthers head coach Tom Cole. “After that we were able to battle back and give ourselves a chance but we just couldn’t get over the hump. This Lincoln team is probably the best team we’ve played this year, and we’ve played some good teams.”

Junior guard Donovyn Hunter led South with 24 points, six rebounds and five steals before fouling out with about 2 1/2 minutes to play.

Senior guard Lottie Dillard supplied a career-high 19 points to go with eight rebounds, while senior Sierra Logue had six points, 11 rebounds and four blocks as the Panthers continue to adjust following the loss of senior forward Tanesha Coley to a season-ending knee injury suffered last week.

South Medford committed an uncustomary 33 turnovers — 19 in the first half — to put itself in a bind. The Panthers did, however, force 26 turnovers in a game that turned sloppy at some points despite considerable talent on the floor.

“It was a fast-paced game and they were extremely athletic,” said Cole of the difficulties.

The Panthers were able to get within four point with the ball in hand in the final 2 1/2 minutes but a missed shot was followed by a quick 3-pointer by Lincoln (14-4) to regain a seven-point cushion.

Junae Mahan, a San Diego commit, scored 17 points and Faith Shelton, who is headed to play at Air Force, added 16 for Lincoln.

SOUTH MEDFORD (59): Settle 2, Hunter 24, Dillard 19, Ceron 0, Logue 6, Bullock 2, T. Schmerbach 0, Fealey 6. Totals: 20 18-24 59.

LINCOLN (67): Aoki 3, Navy 12, Santos 9, Limon 3, Griffin 5, Mahan 17, Shelton 16, Loon 2. Totals: 25 9-22 67.

South Medford1871222— 59

Lincoln18231313— 67

3-point goals — South Medford 1 (Dillard 1), Lincoln 8 (Aoki 1, Navy 2, Santos 1, Limon 1, Griffin 1, Mahan 1, Shelton 1). Fouled out — Hunter.