South overtakes Sheldon for state bid – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

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South Medford put it on cruise control a little early but responded to a third-quarter challenge from Sheldon to win by starting Saturday in the second round of the Class 6A women’s basketball state playoffs, 52-31 .

The third-seeded Panthers (23-3) built a 19-4 advantage for a quarter against their Southwest Conference rivals and, after the Irish cut the gap to 25-20 in the beginning of the third, showed their courage to secure an offer at this week’s state tournament.

“It wasn’t our best performance, but it was good enough to take us to the next level,” said South Medford coach Tom Cole, whose Panthers won the league’s culminating week title. class 6A/5A last spring.

South Medford will open the state tournament at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against sixth-seeded Benson in the quarterfinals at the Chiles Center in Portland. Benson beat Jefferson, 64-62, on Saturday.

Senior guard Lottie Dillard had 14 points and five rebounds and junior Donovyn Hunter added 13 points, nine rebounds and four steals to help lead the Panthers forward.

Senior Sierra Logue contributed 11 rebounds, six points and three blocks, junior Tatum Schmerbach had seven points, and rookie Sara Schmerbach came off the bench to provide five rebounds and three steals.

The Panthers were dynamite early on, getting straight 3-pointers from Dillard and Tatum Schmerbach to set the tone.

Things cooled considerably in the second quarter as Sheldon methodically cut his deficit into double digits.

Although they played without one of their best freshmen Diamond Wright, who was sent off following a skirmish in Wednesday’s first-round win over Tualatin and was serving a one-game suspension , the Irish did not give in.

“Sheldon did a really good job tonight being very patient and playing with himself,” Cole said. “It was a relatively low scoring game, but I thought they were very disciplined tonight given that they were one of their best players.”

Thanks to a few 3-pointers from junior Beaux Bruegman, Sheldon trailed just 23-14 at halftime and a quick push from the break had the score at 25-20 with plenty of time remaining to upset.

It was then that South Medford kicked back into high gear, earning a free throw from Dillard and a field goal from Tatum Schmerbach on an assist from Dillard to extend the lead while increasing defensive intensity.

It was 28-22 when South Medford went 12-0 to close out the third quarter and regain full control.

“I think there was a real gut check in the third quarter and a sense of urgency came through and we started feeding off a few flights and transitioning out,” Cole said. “And then Donovyn hit a big 3 right in front of our bench and it felt like the momentum had changed and we didn’t look back.”

Paityn Rhode had 12 points, Kinley Pappas scored nine and Bruegman finished with eight to lead Sheldon (16-10), who have lost all three meetings against South Medford this season.

SHELDON (31): Line 2, Rhode 12, Miller 0, Lehi 0, Houlihan 0, Pappas 9, Sprouse 0, I. Harms 0, Marshall 0, Bruegman 8, Kearney 2. Totals: 13-41 31.

SOUTH MEDFORD (52): Settle 2, Hunter 13, Dillard 14, S. Schmerbach 3, Ceron 2, Logue 6, West 1, Bullock 0, T. Schmerbach 7, Fealey 4. Totals: 18-52 52.

Sheldon41089—31

South Medford1941712—52

3-point goals – Sheldon 5 (Rhode 2, Bruegman 2, Pappas 1), South Medford 3 (Dillard 1, T. Schmerbach 1, Hunter 1). Fouling — Line.

CLACKAMAS 65, PASS 31 GRANTS: At Clackamas, highly touted rookie Jazzy Davidson scored nine of his 30 points in a first-quarter blitz that saw fifth-seeded Clackamas pull away early from Grants Pass.

Grants Pass (13-10) trailed 25-7 for a quarter and trailed the Cavaliers (25-2) 41-10 at halftime.

Brooke Anderson scored 16 points and Brooklyn Wakefield added eight points for the Cavers.

PASS GRANTS (31): Brandes 0, Kleiner 0, Anderson 16, Thompson 3, Bruner 0, K. Wakefield 0, Pastrell 0, Mock 4, Robinson 0, B. Wakefield 8, Vainuku-Johnson 0, Mizer 0, Tobey 0 Totals: 11 5-9 31.

CLACKAMAS (65): Krause 0, Peterson 3, Rh. Mogel 4, L. Shackleton 0, D. Mogel 3, Cave 0, Buerk 8, Lacy 0, Barhoum 10, E. Shackleton 3, Re. Mogel 4, Davidson 30 Totals: 27 2-5 65.

Grants Pass73129— 31

Clackamas2516204—65

3-point goals – Grants Pass 4 (Anderson 2, B. Wakefield 2), Clackamas 9 (Peterson 1, Rh. Mogel 1, D. Mogel 1, Buerk 2, Barhoum 2, E. Schakleton 1, Davidson 1).

Andy Atkinson/Mail TribuneSouth Medford senior Lotie Dillard, shown in Wednesday’s win over Tigard, scored 14 points to beat the Panthers on Saturday.

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