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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Defense sparks No. 5 Crater to win

CENTRAL POINT — A staple of its girls basketball season thus far, fifth-ranked Crater was again able to capitalize on the ability of its defense to create turnovers and transition opportunities to secure a 53-37 win over North Eugene on Tuesday.

The Comets came up with 24 steals to gradually pull away from the Highlanders on a night when their shots weren’t necessarily falling from the perimeter.

McKenzie Hirsch totaled 11 points, six rebounds and six steals to lead Crater, which ran its overall record to 14-4 and Midwestern League tally to 7-2.

Addison Dippel added 10 points and five steals for the Comets, while Lydia Traore had nine rebounds and two blocks and Chase Weaver chipped in with eight rebounds and four blocks.

“The fact that we can generate steals and gets some transition buckets or get fouled and go to the free-throw line is important on a night like tonight,” said Crater head coach Scott Dippel. “We were able to generate points that way when we did not shoot the ball very well, really, so it’s encouraging to win a game like that.”

Emily Hardrath scored 16 points to lead North Eugene (4-10, 1-7 MWL), which fell behind 16-8 after one quarter and could not recover.

Both teams struggled from the foul line, missing a combined 24 free throws between them.

NORTH EUGENE (37): M. Bobbs 0, Filipe 0, Hoskinson 0, Rutledge 6, Schpankyn 9, Nguyen 0, N. Hobbs 2, Hardrath 16, Becraft 4, Haynes 0. Totals: 12 10-23 37.

CRATER (53): K. Gugliotta 2, Sizemore 2, Gish 0, Dippel 10, Weaver 4, Hirsch 11, Stidham 2, S. Winslow 5, McCauley 3, A. Winslow 9, Vranes 0, A. Gugliotta 2, Traore 3. Totals: 16 19-30 53.

North Eugene87616— 37

Crater16101116— 53

3-point goals — North Eugene 3 (Schpankyn 3), Crater 2 (S. Winslow 1, McCauley 1).

JV result — Crater beat Roseburg.

SOUTH MEDFORD 73, ROSEBURG 17: At Roseburg, South Medford senior Sierra Logue dominated inside with 22 points and 12 rebounds and junior Kendall Fealey offered up 12 points, seven assists and five steals in the runaway win by the fourth-ranked Panthers.

Tatum Schmerbach added 16 points and Sara Schmerbach had eight points and nine assists for South (13-3, 3-0 SWC), which led 29-7 after one quarter.

Already playing with injured junior Donovyn Hunter, the Panthers were minus sophomore Kim Ceron, who suffered a broken nose last week and is set to have surgery today. Ceron expects to be out for about two weeks.

Emelie Morello scored seven points for Roseburg (1-12, 0-3).

SOUTH MEDFORD (73): Settle 6, Dillard 5, S. Schmerbach 8, Logue 22, West 4, T. Schmerbach 16, Fealey 12. Totals: 32 9-14 73.

ROSEBURG (17): Morello 7, Carpenter 4, Murphy 2, Cunningham 4, Bowman 0, S. Muntifering 0, J. Muntifering 0, Weidemier 0, Miller 0. Totals: 7 2-2 17.

South Medford2913229— 73

Roseburg7262— 17

3-point goals — Roseburg 1 (Morello 1).

WILLAMETTE 75, ASHLAND 24: At Ashland, top-ranked Willamette raced out to an early double-digit lead and never looked back in a Midwestern League win at Mountain Avenue Gym.

The Wolverines (16-1, 8-0 MWL), whose only loss this season is to Class 6A South Medford, got a game-high 17 points from Maddy Warberg and 16 points from fellow freshman Brynn Smith.

Willamette, which hit eight 3-pointers, led 32-4 after the opening quarter.

Lainie Carter led Ashland (1-10, 0-4) with six points.

WILLAMETTE (75): Morris 4, Obie 5, Warberg 17, Nguyen 9, Smith 16, Wagner 4, Marshall 8, Rush 2, Hopkins 2, McLaughlin 6, Garcia 2, Ireland 0. Totals: 29 9-10 75.

ASHLAND (24): Montgomery 0, Sayre 0, Lambert 0, Caruso 5, G. Carter 0, Jenkins 0, Heiken 2, L. Carter 6, Robinson 2, Lundgren 4, Pokrob 5, Ayala 0, Pistole 0. Totals: 10 1-2 24.

Willamette32151414— 75

Ashland41433— 24

3-point goals — Willamette 8 (Obie 1, Warberg 4, Nguyen 1, McLaughlin 2), Ashland 3 (Caruso 1, L. Carter 1, Pokrob 1).

HIDDEN VALLEY 46, PHOENIX 34: At Phoenix, Hidden Valley got the jump on Phoenix in the first quarter and the Pirates were unable to make up the ground they needed in the Skyline Conference matchup.

The Pirates’ Anabell Delgado dropped in seven of her 15 points in the fourth quarter and Kynna Nolan scored six of Phoenix’s eight first-quarter points on her way to a season-high 11 points.

Morgan James added six points and 10 rebounds for the Pirates (7-10, 1-3 Skyline), who had a difficult time containing the Knights’ Skylar Willey in the paint. Willey finished with 19 points for Hidden Valley (7-8, 2-1).

HIDDEN VALLEY (46): Powers 11, Rommes 0, Tiffin 0, Bents 8, Noga 6, Lowery 2, Willey 19, Bennett 0. Totals: 14 15-19 46.

PHOENIX (34): James 6, Nolan 11, Potratz 2, Delgado 15, Rector 0, Mohamud 0. Totals: 14 4-4 34.

Hidden Valley168913— 46

Phoenix88612— 34

3-point goals — Hidden Valley 3 (Powers 1, Bents 2), Phoenix 2 (Delgado 1, Nolan 1). Fouled out — James.

JV result — Hidden Valley won.

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneCrater's McKenzie Hirsch, shown during a recent game against Thurston, had 11 points, six rebounds and six steals to lead the Comets on Tuesday.