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Phoenix's Ortega heats up to deny St. Mary's

MURPHY — Phoenix junior Nico Ortega may as well consider the St. Mary’s boys basketball team more friend than foe these days, because no one seems to bring out the best in him as much as the Crusaders.

Ortega knocked down seven 3-pointers — six in the first half — and scored a game-high 27 points Thursday as Phoenix opened the Evergreen Tournament at Hidden Valley High with a 76-58 victory over St. Mary’s.

When the teams met on Dec. 8 (a 63-60 Phoenix win), Ortega connected on three 3-pointers and scored 16 points.

In that game as well as Thursday, the Pirates (4-1) knocked down 10 3-pointers against St. Mary’s (4-2).

“He had people in his face and was wide open, it didn’t matter,” said St. Mary’s head coach Kevin Dixon of Ortega’s big night. “They’re a little bit on fire right now. They were 10-for-15 against us the other night and 9-for-11 in the first half today.”

Ethan Hutsell added 20 points and Ivan Serna had 11 for Phoenix.

Tre Foster led St. Mary’s with 14 points, 16 rebounds, four blocks and three assists, Francis Okeyia chimed in with 19 points and six boards and Iyan Hristov had 10 points and six rebounds.

The Crusaders trimmed their deficit to 46-40 in the third quarter and then missed a 3-pointer. Phoenix followed with a 14-0 run to put the game out of reach.

PHOENIX (76): Martinez 2, Serna 11, Goff 3, Hutsell 20, Clayton 0, Mendez 0, Stella 4, Watts 5, Ortega 27, Beer 2, Stanfield 2, Tuenge 0. Totals: 29 8-11 76.

ST. MARY’S (58): Hristov 10, Banton 0, Okeyia 19, Conner 2, Reynolds 0, Rajagopal 5, Sternenberg 8, Snyder 0, Foster 14. Totals: 25 4-9 58.

Phoenix28161616— 76

St. Mary’s171498— 58

3-point goals — Phoenix 10 (Goff 1, Hutsell 1, Watts 1, Ortega 7), St. Mary’s 3 (Rajagopal 1, Foster 2).

JV result — St. Mary’s won.

PLEASANT VALLEY 86, SOUTH MEDFORD 64: At Chico, Calif., Sherman Hunter led three South Medford players in double figures with 14 points but Pleasant Valley used a 27-10 surge in the third quarter to pull away in the opening game of the Red Bluff Holiday Classic.

Ben Harmon scored 11 points and Giovanni Bottero added 10 for the Panthers (0-6), who were within nine points at halftime of the Chico, California, squad but became hindered by turnovers.

Four players reached double digits in scoring for Pleasant Valley (8-2), led by Cody Hamilton’s 12 points.

The Panthers next face Golden Valley of Merced, California, at 2:30 p.m. today.

SOUTH MEDFORD (64): Hunter 14, Shepard 9, DeBoer 3, Bottero 10, Smith 4, Sleezer 3, Harmon 11, Pannell 2, Townley 0, Ramsay 8. Totals: 26 4-7 64.

PLEASANT VALLEY (86): Montoya 8, Thomas 9, Whittaker 9, Carlisle 3, Kremer 8, Taylor 2, Gomez 11, Hamilton 12, Keating 11, Otterlei 11, Finney 2. Totals: 30 19-27 86.

South Medford12161026— 64

Pleasant Valley18192722— 86

3-point goals — South Medford 8 (Hunter 2, Shepard 1, DeBoer 1, Sleezer 1, Harmon 3), Pleasant Valley 7 (Montoya 1, Thomas 1, Whittaker 1, Kremer 2, Gomez 1, Hamilton 1). Fouled out — Bottero.

LOST RIVER 52, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 43: At Murphy, Cascade Christian junior Layne Collom scored 18 points and sophomore Donminic Lewis added 12 in a losing cause to open the Evergreen Tournament at Hidden Valley High.

The Challengers (0-4) fell into an early hole as Lost River (3-3) opened a 17-5 lead after one quarter.

Jose Murillo scored 14 points to lead three Raiders in double figures.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (43): Reece 4, Sciapiti 0, Schaan 2, Jackson 2, Lewis 12, Collom 18, Sample 0, Brehm 2, Spurlock 0, Flenner 3, Gilbert 0, Coppedge 0, Miller 0. Totals: 15 7-14 43.

LOST RIVER (52): Ramos 0, Lyman 1, N. Pena 4, Salazar 0, Nicolet 9, Ross 11, Hartman 0, Murillo 14, McAuliffe 13. Totals: 21 10-12 52.

Cascade Christian514168— 43

Lost River17101015— 52

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 6 (Reece 1, Lewis 1, Collom 3, Flenner 1).

JV score — Lost River 61, Cascade Christian 60

Girls

LA JOLLA COUNTRY DAY 58, SOUTH MEDFORD 36: At San Diego, South Medford senior Ula Chamberlin tallied 16 points but the Panthers were knocked out of rhythm early in the nonleague game.

La Jolla Country Day (5-5) of San Diego opened a 20-10 lead through one quarter against the Panthers (4-1) and forced 24 turnovers to win going away in South Medford’s first experience with a 30-second shot clock.

Shakia Teague-Perry added eight points for South Medford, which remains in San Diego to play Santa Fe Christian Academy at 7 tonight.

SOUTH MEDFORD (36): K. Chamberlin 4, Coleman 4, U. Chamberlin 16, Schmerbach 0, Pedrojetti 2, Logue 0, Coley 0, Dahlin 2, Teague-Perry 8. Totals: 16 2-2 36.

LA JOLLA (58): Villareal 3, Urbano-Sedlund 18, B. Mack 10, Tufaga 0, Anousinh 11, Atchley 16, Fesili 0. Totals: 20 7-9 58.

South Medford106128— 36

La Jolla20121214— 58

3-point goals — South Medford 2 (U. Chamberlin 2), La Jolla 11 (Villareal 1, Urbano-Sedlund 4, B. Mack 1, Anousinh 3, Atchley 2).

NORTH MEDFORD 48, VINTAGE 37: At Napa, Calif., North Medford improved to 2-1 with an opening-day win during the final game of the night at the Wine Valley Tournament at Napa Valley High.

Game information was not available as of press time.

North Medford12101214— 48

Vintage122914— 37

SOUTH UMPQUA 55, CASCADE CHRISTIAN 34: At Murphy, Cascade Christian was limited to 12 second-half points on the first day of the round-robin Evergreen Tournament at Hidden Valley High.

The Challengers (1-2) got six points and 16 rebounds from sophomore forward Elliana Hagloch, who was named Cascade Christian’s player of the game. Abigail Alexander had 12 points and 10 rebounds.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (34): Joseph 2, Quast 5, Alexander 12, Meilicke 4, Clark 0, Hagloch 6, Stephens 5, Hensley 0. Totals: 15 2-9 34.

SOUTH UMPQUA (55): Gibson 10, McClure 0, McCall 9, Lowell 1, Gray 9, Pires 10, Kelly 12, Salter 0, Griffin 4. Totals: 22 9-16 55.

Cascade Christian13984— 34

South Umpqua21101311— 55

3-point goals — Cascade Christian 2 (Meilicke 1, Quast 1), South Umpqua 2 (Kelly 2). Fouled out — Meilicke.

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