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GIRLS BASKETBALL: South ends Willamette’s win streak

Hunter, Logue lead the way as No. 4 Panthers get win over Class 5A’s top-ranked team

EUGENE — Knowing their opposition Friday night can score in bunches, the South Medford girls basketball team came into its matchup against Willamette sensing that a fast start would be crucial.

The Class 6A Panthers did that — and then some.

Junior guard Donovyn Hunter and senior forward Sierra Logue combined for 28 first-half points, helping No. 4-ranked South Medford build a 14-point halftime lead en route to a 74-45 win over previously undefeated Willamette, Class 5A’s top-ranked team, at the Wolverines’ gym.

“I thought our kids got up for this game — which was good to see,” South Medford head coach Tom Cole said. “It was good to see that they came out with really good energy, were focused and played a much better game than I’d seen over the last few — and hopefully that’s something we can build off of here.”

Hunter, who came into the game averaging 26 points, finished with a game-high 25 points, six rebounds, five steals and four assists, while Logue added 22 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.

The duo scored 18 of the Panthers’ 20 first-quarter points, propelling South (8-2) to an early 20-11 lead. Two straight baskets by Hunter to open the second quarter got the lead into double digits at 24-11, and only on one occasion did the Panthers’ lead drop into single digits the rest of the night.

“We knew that (Willamette) could score, so in order for us to score we needed to play an up-and-down game — and it really became that in the first quarter,” said Cole, whose team led 34-20 at the half. “Both teams were getting up and down and there were a lot of nerves, obviously. I felt like we missed some easy ones that could have pushed us to an even more comfortable margin in the first half.”

As much as it was the early offense, South’s defense also came to play.

South forced Willamette (13-1) — which started the week Tuesday with a 64-48 win over No. 2-ranked Crater — into 20 turnovers, as the Panthers recorded 18 steals and outrebounded the Wolverines 38-15.

It was just the fourth time in the Wolverines’ first 14 games this season that they have been held under 50 points.

Willamette, with its starting lineup full of freshmen, got 18 points from freshman guard Brynn Smith, who hit three of the Wolverines’ four 3-pointers. Fellow freshman Victoria Nguyen was also in double figures with 12 points.

Freshman wing Maddy Warberg and 6-foot junior post Nancy Coffman, who both scored in double figures against Crater, were limited to a combined seven points Friday night.

“Defensively, we were much more disciplined,” said Cole. “Even as much as we knew how well they could shoot, (Smith) still made some shots. What we knew about them is that they’re not only her but there were several of them that could shoot it. Collectively, they’ve been beating teams behind the stripe, spreading it out and beating teams from the perimeter, so for us I thought we did a pretty good job (defensively).”

South junior guard Tatum Schmerbach added six points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds, while sophomore Kim Ceron finished with eight points and five rebounds.

“Sierra and Donovyn were great, but we got some amazing rebounds and defensive pressure from Tatum,” said Cole. “She’s a kid who, I feel like, played a much better all-around game. She didn’t light up the scoring columns, but she was very productive across the board.”

SOUTH MEDFORD (74): Settle 0, Hunter 25, Dillard 9, S. Schmerbach 2, Ceron 8, Logue 22, West 0, Bullock 0, T. Schmerbach 6, Fealey 2. Totals: 35 4-5 74.

WILLAMETTE (45): Morris 2, Warberg 5, Nguyen 12, Smith 18, Wagner 6, Marshall 0, Rush 0, Coffman 2, Ireland 0. Totals: 18 5-16 45.

South Medford20142218— 74

Willamette1191312— 45

3-point goals —Willamette 4 (Smith 3, Warberg 1).

JV score — Willamette 61, South Medford 56.

CHURCHILL 39, CRATER 34: At Eugene, Crater was only able to score in double digits in one quarter, as the Comets dropped their second straight Midwestern League game.

Crater (12-4, 5-2 MWL) was able to fight its way back from a two-point first quarter to trail 21-19 at the half. The Lancers (8-4, 2-2), however, outscored the Comets 11-7 in the third quarter, with all but three of those points coming on 8-of-10 shooting from the foul line.

McKenzie Hirsch had nine points, eight rebounds and four steals to lead Crater. Kayleigh Gugliotta added seven points, while Lydia Traore had four points, eight rebounds and five blocks off the bench.

Rivers Richardson and Brooklyn Moody each had 10 points to pace Churchill, which has won five straight.

CRATER (34): K. Gugliotta 7, Sizemore 0, Gish 0, Dippel 3, Weaver 2, Hirsch 9, S. Winslow 2, A. Winslow 5, Vranes 0, A. Gugliotta 2, Traore 4. Totals: 13 5-11 34.

CHURCHILL (39): Dotts 6, Gansen 2, Moody 10, Statzer 6, Scott 5, Richardson 10. Totals: 11 16-28 39.

Crater21778— 34

Churchill813117— 39

3-point goals —Crater 3 (Hirsch 2, Dippel 1), Churchill 1 (Moody 1). Technical foul — Crater illegal substitution.

NORTH EUGENE 35, EAGLE POINT 32: At Eugene, Eagle Point had a pair of shots miss the mark at the end of the game in a bid to force overtime and North Eugene escaped with the MWL victory.

Haley McCornack supplied 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting and grabbed six rebounds for the Eagles (3-8, 0-4 MWL), while Morgan Dole had eight points and four steals.

Lanastasia Nguyen led North Eugene (4-8, 1-5) with eight points.

EAGLE POINT (32): Raber 0, Dole 8, Nielsen 3, Hanan 2, Baldwin 2, Pena 2, Munoz 0, Balero 4, McCornack 11. Totals: 9 13-24 32.

NORTH EUGENE (35): Filipe 5, Hoskinson 5, Rutledge 2, Schpankyn 3, Nguyen 8, Hobbs 7, Hardrath 5, Haynes 0. Totals: 14 4-8 35.

Eagle Point910211— 32

North Eugene71576— 35

3-point goals — Eagle Point 1 (Balero 1), North Eugene (Hoskinson 1, Schpankyn 1, Nguyen 1). Fouled out — Rutledge, Hardrath.

KLAMATH UNION 49, PHOENIX 40: At Klamath Falls, Phoenix junior Kynna Nolan had a solid all-around game with 11 points and five rebounds and sophomore Anabell Delgado contributed 13 points in the Skyline Conference loss.

Morgan James added 10 points and Kyla Potratz pulled in seven rebounds to go with a good defensive effort for the Pirates (6-9, 0-2 Skyline).

Phoenix used a third-quarter run to offset a 22-15 halftime deficit, but 3-pointers by Dianara Pena allowed Klamath Union to regain momentum. Pena finished with 20 points for the Pelicans (8-6, 2-0).

PHOENIX (40): James 10, Nolan 11, Potratz 3, Delgado 13, Rector 3, McConnell 0, Mohamud 0. Totals: 13 11-20 40.

KLAMATH UNION (49): Mendez 2, Hall 5, Pena 20, E. Garcia 2, Langley 6, Mahan 8, Slaven 4, S. Garcia 2. Totals: 16 12-24 49.

Phoenix691312— 40

Klamath Union7151116— 49

3-point goals — Phoenix 3 (Delgado 2, Rector 1), Klamath Union (Pena 4, Langley 1). Fouled out — James, Rector. Technical foul — Klamath Union illegal substitution.

JV result — Klamath Union won.

ST. MARY’S 49, SOUTH UMPQUA 45: At Myrtle Creek, St. Mary’s gained momentum with its second win in three games since taking a one-month hiatus due to low player numbers, scoring a comeback win in Far West League play.

The Crusaders (2-5, 1-1 FWL) fell behind 19-8 after one quarter but gradually battled back to take the lead with about four minutes to play, then worked the clock to ensure a close victory.

Despite playing with four fouls, Ryker Rothfus scored nine of her 18 points in the fourth quarter to help spur St. Mary’s, which outscored the Lancers 17-9 in the final frame.

Maddie Ward added 15 points and eight rebounds, Carmel Ashland scored nine points and Hannah Erickson pulled in seven boards for the Crusaders.

Montanah Love led South Umpqua (3-8, 0-2) with 22 points.

ST. MARY’S (49): Bowdoin 2, Ward 15, Rothfus 18, Erickson 4, Ashland 9, Mejia 1, Mills 0, Jensen 0. Totals: 22 3-6 49.

SOUTH UMPQUA (45): Kelley 10, Love 22, McElmurry 1, McCaughan 4, Richardson 9, Pratt 0, Woodruff 0, Donahoe 0. Totals: 17 7-16 45.

St. Mary’s815917— 49

South Umpqua19899— 45

3-point goals — St. Mary’s 2 (Ashland 1, Rothfus 1), South Umpqua 4 (Love 3, McCaughan 1).

DOUGLAS 67, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 25: At Winston, Cascade Christian fell behind early and was unable to generate the offense necessary to keep up with Douglas in its Far West League opener.

The Challengers (5-9, 0-1 FWL), who saw Douglas take a 21-4 lead in the first quarter, were led by Jordynn Jones’ 12 points and Bella Williams added six.

Kierra Bennett dropped in 21 points for Douglas (9-3, 2-0).

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (25): Cramer 0, Shipman 0, Sweem 5, Williams 6, Brehm 0, Coats 2, Jones 12, Roberson 0, Purrier 0. Totals: 11 1-4 25.

DOUGLAS (67): McWharter 4, Wiegman 0, Lee 4, Sapp 11, T. Polamalu 4, Hester 0, M. Polamalu 16, Bennett 21, S. Polamalu 7, Avery 0, Calvert 0. Totals: 26 11-18 67.

Cascade Christian41182— 25

Douglas21181315— 67

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 2 (Sweem 1, Jones 1), Douglas 4 (M. Polamalu 2, Bennett 1, S. Polamalu 1). Fouled out — Avery.

Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune South Medford’s Sierra Logue (11), seen here in a file photo from earlier this season, scored 22 points in the Panthers win over Willamette on Friday night.