North downs Sheldon

There was far more significance than simply playoff positioning in No. 7 North Medford's 61-59 victory on Friday at No. 5 Sheldon.

The Black Tornado, still in contention for the Southwest Conference's third seed, rebounded from a "disappointing" loss to South Medford last Tuesday with one of its best efforts of the season.

"It's a big win for momentum and for the psyche of the team," North Medford coach Scott Plankenhorn said. "This is as close to as good as we've played all year."

Jordan Ellis had 18 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Josh Pecktol added 16 points and 10 rebounds. North Medford (17-5, 9-5 SWC) built a 10-point lead in the first half and led by as much as 10 in the fourth quarter. Sheldon (18-5, 11-3 SWC) made a run late and connected on a 3-pointer with two seconds remaining to cut the lead to two before the Black Tornado was able to run out the clock.

Ellis had 10 points in the fourth quarter and Pecktol added seven.

"Those two guys put a lot on their backs in the fourth quarter," Plankenhorn said.

Matt Maurer added eight points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

North Medford held Sheldon to just five points in the second quarter in taking a 26-16 lead into the break.

"We were just really active and challenged everything," Plankenhorn said. "In the second half, they did a better job of running their stuff, and we didn't do a great job of stopping people."

The Black Tornado shot 57 percent from the field against Sheldon's zone defense. The Irish were led by Billy Pinz's 14 points. Tyler Reynolds added 12.

Sheldon can clinch the outright SWC title and No. 1 seed into the Class 6A playoffs with a win at No. 6 South Medford on Thursday.

North Medford, which won two of three meetings against Sheldon, closes the regular season on Thursday at South Eugene. The Black Tornado holds a one-game lead over South Eugene for third place, and the two teams are 1-1 against each other this season.

NORTH MEDFORD (61) — Ellis 18, Pecktol 16, Levos 9, Maurer 8, Borg 5, Faust 3, Formolo 2, Clark 0, Shipley 0.

SHELDON (59) — Pinz 14, Reynolds 12, Good 9, Davis 9, Higgins 7, Wellman 6, Radke 2, Stringfield 0.

North Medford 15 11 14 21 — 61

Sheldon 11 5 19 24 — 59

3-point goals — North Medford 4 (Faust 1, Ellis 1, Borg 1, Levos 1), Sheldon 8 (Wellman 1, Reynolds 1, Good 3, Higgins 1, Pinz 1, Davis 1). Fouled out — Pinz.

JV score — Sheldon 68, North Medford 55.

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