North Medford senior Derek Mautz goes to the basket during Friday's game. - Photo by Larry Stauth

North sinks Sprague for title

When North Medford's long-range shots started falling, so did the Sprague Olympians in the championship game of the 22nd Abby's Holiday Classic boys basketball tournament.

The Black Tornado connected on its first seven 3-pointers of the second half and pulled away for a 62-49 victory over the Class 6A Salem school at the North Medford gym Friday.

It was North Medford's third tournament title in the past five years and its sixth overall. The Black Tornado lost to South Medford, 63-56, in last year's championship game.

North Medford (9-1) made just 1 of 14 3-pointers in the first half but still led 27-22 at intermission.

"We were getting open shots and we just had to make them," said North Medford coach Scott Plankenhorn. "In the second half, we made a slight adjustment to go inside out. It's a confidence thing and a credit to the kids that they stepped up and wanted to win the basketball game."

North built as much as a nine-point lead in the first half but the Olympians (7-4) kept answering back behind the play of star point guard AJ Lapray and senior wing Ben Foote, who combined for 15 first-half points. The Black Tornado misfired on its first 10 3-pointers before Mark Winans canned one with 2:04 left in the second quarter.

But the second half was a different story.

The Black Tornado used a pair of 3s by Trey Garfas sandwiched around one by Oshea Bailey to spark a 13-6 run the first 41/2-minutes of the third quarter. Then Winans made his second of the game and backup guard Julian Gray put one down in the final two minutes to help North build a nine-point advantage by the end of the period.

"They made that run and we couldn't quite weather the storm," said Sprague coach BJ Dobrkovsky. "They're very athletic and have a lot of experience."

Jordan Browne-Moore had a strong all-around game for the Black Tornado. The 6-foot-3 senior post led North with 15 points, pulled down seven rebounds and was a defensive stalwart inside.

"(Browne-Moore) had a nice flow and rhythm offensively," said Plankenhorn. "He came up with clutch baskets and did a good job fighting for spots against a 6-8 kid in the post."

Browne-Moore scored North's first seven points of the fourth quarter on a putback, a 3-pointer and a layup off an assist by Derek Mautz driving to the basket. He also forced a turnover on an attempted lob to Lapray under the basket, which led to a Bailey 3-pointer in transition.

"We had a lot of energy coming out after halftime," said Browne-Moore. "We were spurred on by hitting shots."

Bailey, a junior point guard, contributed nine points and had four assists. Bailey found his long-range touch in warm-ups before the third quarter when he hit seven straight.

"(Bailey) played really well this week," said Plankenhorn. "He's learning that point guard spot as we go."

This was the first game all season Mautz, North's leading scorer, failed to make a 3-pointer. But the crafty senior guard still managed to score 11 points and dish out three assists. Mautz had nine of his points in the first half when he scored on some creative drives to the basket.

"I was looking to attack early and get them in foul trouble," said Mautz. "In the second half everyone was knocking down shots, so I didn't really need to."

Plankenhorn pointed out that Mautz's presence helps generate opportunities: "Even if (Mautz) is not making shots, it's the fear and it allows other guys to get open."

The 6-4 junior Lapray, who led all scorers with 17 points, impressed Plankenhorn.

"He's a quality player who is smooth and under control no matter the pressure," said the Black Tornado sixth-year coach. "He can flat out shoot the ball."

Lapray and Mautz were unanimous selections to the all-tournament team. The other picks were Alex Roth of West Salem and North players Chris Faust, Browne-Moore and Bailey.

SPRAGUE (49) — O'Connell 2, Morgan 2, Gage 2, Foote 15, Lapray 17, Kim 2, Bratton 7, Long 2, Collins 0. Totals: 19-48 5-12 49.

NORTH MEDFORD (61) — Gray 3, Mautz 11, Bailey 9, Whitaker 0, Browne-Moore 15, Winans 6, Parker 0, Faust 8, Garfas 10. Totals: 22-44 10-15 61.

Sprague 6 16 17 10 — 49

North Medford 10 17 21 14 — 62

3-point goals — Sprague 6 (Lapray 3, Foote 2, Brotton 1), North Medford 8-22 (Gray 1, Bailey 2, Winans 2, Browne-Moore 1, Garfas 2).

Reach reporter Frank Silow at 541-776-4480 or by email at

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