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PREP BASKETBALL: South slips by Grant in top-6 clash

PORTLAND — Sixth-ranked South Medford came up clutch in the fourth quarter of Monday’s top-6 clash with No. 5 Grant, scoring the first 13 points of the quarter to separate from the Generals for a 65-59 boys basketball contest.

It was a Sweet 16 party for the Panthers, who got 16 points apiece from Junior Sleezer, Boden Howell and Devon Malcolm to halt a six-game winning streak by Grant (17-4).

Malcolm also added eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

South Medford (19-2) extended its own winning streak to 13 games entering Friday’s Southwest Conference showdown at No. 10 North Medford (19-2).

The Panthers opened the early evening tilt Monday with a 9-0 run but found themselves down 34-28 at halftime and 43-40 entering the final frame.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Weiland and Howell opened the fourth quarter, followed by driving baskets by Sleezer and Malcolm. Sleezer capped the surge with a 3-pointer after the Panthers broke Grant’s press and Malcolm found his senior running mate on the right wing.

Up 53-43 with 3:50 to play, it became a free-throw shooting contest for South Medford to finish the game. The Panthers connected on 8 of 12 from the foul line to go with a pivotal driving basket by Howell with 35 seconds to play after Grant had closed to within 61-59.

Howell also played a key role in slowing Generals junior Adrian Mosley to only two points in the second half after he had tallied 14 in the first half. Senior guard Jae’sean Pete came off the bench to lead Grant with 17 points, nine coming in the fourth quarter.

SOUTH MEDFORD (65): Weiland 11, Hall 0, Sleezer 16, Howell 16, Bloodsaw 0, Clayborne 6, Malcolm 16. Totals: 20 17-22 65.

GRANT (59): Mosley 16, Lawrence 9, McKinney 0, von Arx 7, Pete 17, Hardges 0, Jay 6, Bernius 5. Totals: 25 2-6 59.

South Medford13151225— 65

Grant1222916— 59

3-point goals — South Medford 8 (Weiland 1, Sleezer 3, Howell 2, Clayborne 2), Grant 7 (Mosley 1, Lawrence 1, von Arx 1, Pete 3, Bernius 1).

JV result — South Medford 59, Grant 58

CHURCHILL 68, ASHLAND 35: At Eugene, a slow opening quarter put Ashland in too deep of a hole to climb out of as hot-shooting host Churchill made 10 3-pointers to remain unbeaten in Midwestern League play.

The Grizzlies (12-8, 9-4 MWL), who were without starter Egan Shields in COVID-19 protocol, responded with a strong second quarter but the Lancers (18-4, 13-0) put the game out of reach by outscoring Ashland 27-9 in the third.

Hawthorn Lapierre scored 13 points to lead Ashland while Silas Wright made three triples for nine points and Izzy Golden chipped in seven.

Churchill was led by Samaje Morgan’s 25 points.

ASHLAND (35): Lapierre 13, Golden 7, Wright 9, Thompson 1, Lehnerz 3, Barnes 2, Stowasser 0, Kenard 0, McNamara 0. Totals: 14 1-2 35.

CHURCHILL (68): Weiskind 10, Thompson 2, Montgomery 3, Forsyth 16, Morgan 25, Luna 4, Pennington 8, Le 0, Carson 0. Totals: 27 4-6 68.

Ashland81197— 35

Churchill2410277— 68

3-point goals — Ashland 6 (Lapierre 1, Golden 1, Wright 3, Lehnerz 1), Churchill 10 (Weiskind 2, Montgomery 1, Forsyth 4, Morgan 2, Pennington 1).

Girls

CHURCHILL 55, ASHLAND 28: At Eugene, facing one of the Midwestern League’s top teams, Ashland’s effort at the defensive end allowed the Grizzlies to keep in the game until the fourth quarter, where host Churchill pulled away.

The Grizzlies (1-19, 0-13 MWL) trailed by 10 at halftime and 13 after three quarters before the fourth saw Churchill (15-6, 9-4) knock down three of its four 3-pointers.

Ashland received eight points from Abbey Lambert and six from Koura Sayre.

ASHLAND (28): Montgomery 0, Sayre 6, Lambert 8, Caruso 0, G. Carter 1, Jenkins 0, Heiken 0, L. Carter 5, Robinson 6, Lundgren 2, Pokrob 0, Ayala 0. Totals: 10 5-9 28.

CHURCHILL (55): Bierman 0, Dotts 6, Gansen 2, Poetzl 4, Rodman 4, Woolley 3, Jackson 0, Moody 13, Statzer 3, Scott 2, Humphery 0, Richardson 18. Totals: 23 5-8 55.

Ashland65107— 28

Churchill1381321— 55

3-point goals — Ashland 3 (Sayre 2, L. Carter 1), Churchill 4 (Moody 3, Wooley 1).

Andy Atkinson / Mail TribuneSouth Medford's Boden Howell, shown in action earlier this season, was one of three Panthers to score 16 points against Grant on Monday.