PREP HOOPS: Crater closes strong to deny Ashland
CENTRAL POINT — The Midwestern League clash between the Crater and Ashland boys basketball teams featured a double-digit rally and several second-half lead changes and, in the end, came down to who took care of the basketball during crunch time Tuesday night.
Silas Wright’s barrage from 3-point range put Ashland in the driver’s seat with a three-point lead late in the fourth quarter but Crater was able to ramp up its intensity at both ends of the floor while remaining poised down the stretch to prevail, 51-45, at Crater High School.
“I am so proud of these boys,” said Comets coach Bryan Scott. “We all trust each other and they trust me. This game was a confirmation of what we know about ourselves and we believed in ourselves.”
The 6-foot-7 senior Wright put the Grizzlies (6-7, 1-1 MWL) up twice in the fourth quarter to swing the momentum in Ashland’s favor. His 3-pointer from the corner broke a 40-all tie to give the Grizzlies a 43-40 edge with about three minutes remaining.
But the Comets (10-3, 2-0), in just their second home game of the season, weren’t about to disappoint their fans and closed the game on an 11-2 run.
Junior guard Ashton Acrey answered by slashing to the basket and was fouled and sank both free throws to trim Ashland’s lead to 43-42. Moments later, junior Ty Dahlin knocked down a triple to put the Comets up for good with a 45-43 advantage. Dahlin also added a free throw and, after Ashland senior Eyera Nogues’ layup cut Crater’s lead to 47-45, sophomore Kyle Bittle’s layup with less than a minute left sealed the victory.
“When we came back from being 12 points down, that’s what really motivated us going into second half,” said Scott. “That was exciting for me coming back like that.”
Ashland led 20-8 early in the second quarter but junior Cody Dutkiewicz provided the Comets with energy off the bench, scoring six of his eight points in the frame where Crater outscored the Grizzlies, 20-8 and went into halftime with a 26-24 edge.
“When Cody subbed in he was playing all over the place, grabbing rebounds and hitting free throws,” said Scott. “He just gave us the energy we needed and we just kept going from there.”
Dahlin led four Comets in double figures with 11 while Acrey, Bittle and Hunter Schwenk added 10 points apiece.
Wright was 4-for-6 from 3-point territory and paced the Grizzlies with 16 points. Ashland also picked up 11 points from Nogues and 10 points from senior Izzy Golden.
ASHLAND (45): Stowasser 1, Lehnerz 0, Golden 10, Wright 16, Thompson 2, Nogues 11, Hermogenes 2, McNamara 3. Totals: 13 2-5 45.
CRATER (51): Idiart 0, Acrey 10, Higginson 0, Bittle 10, Dutkiewicz 8, Dahlin 11, Schwenk 10, Rucker 2. Totals: 18 14-20 51.
3-point goals — Ashland 6 (Wright 4, Golden 2), Crater 1 (Dahlin 1). Fouled out — Golden.
SOUTH MEDFORD 79, ROSEBURG 14: At Roseburg, South Medford’s smothering defense held Roseburg to just six first-half points and the Panthers accumulated 31 steals en route to a win in the Southwest Conference opener for both teams.
Senior Donovyn Hunter recorded 22 points, seven steals and three assists for the fourth-ranked Panthers (11-2), who were also backed by junior Kim Ceron’s 15 points, four rebounds and four blocked shots.
The Panthers received 12 points, four steals and three assists from senior Kendall Fealey, while Malia Taulani chipped in with eight points and fellow freshman Taylor Young added six points and six steals. Sara Schmerbach also provided six points and four steals.
SOUTH MEDFORD (79): Richardson 2, Taulani 8, Hunter 22, Young 6, S. Schmerbach 4, Ceron 15, Barlow 2, Howell 0, Akpan 2, T. Schmerbach 6, Fealey 12. Totals: 34 7-11 79.
ROSEBURG (14): Morello 0, Muntifering 4, Brooksby 2, Carptenter 6, Mohlsick 2, Smith 0, Bachmeier 0, Murphy 0, Aasen 0, Sikes 0. Totals: 4 6-7 14.
South Medford22202413— 79
3-point goals — South Medford 4 (Hunter 2, Fealey 2). Technical foul — Ceron.
JV result — South Medford 46, Roseburg 24.
GRANTS PASS 57, NORTH MEDFORD 25: At Grants Pass, North Medford struggled to get much going offensively and 10th-ranked Grants Pass took control from the start to claim the Southwest Conference victory.
Caileigh Raines scored five of her team’s seven points in the first quarter as the Black Tornado went behind 20-7 after eight minutes. Raines finished with nine points.
Eight different Cavers scored in the first quarter to blitz the Black Tornado (4-8, 0-1 SWC), which managed only one point in the second quarter to wind up trailing 38-8 at halftime.
Olivia Boger scored six of her eight points in the fourth quarter for North.
Brooke Anderson led a balanced attack by Grants Pass (9-2, 1-0) with 16 points, while Kenzie Kleiner had 10 and Sophie Mock scored nine.
NORTH MEDFORD (25): Heese 0, Patel 3, Hamlimn 4, Stevens 0, Taylor 0, Raines 9, Jackson 0, Boger 8, Brownlee 0, Harris 1, Lane 0, West 0. Totals: 11 1-4 25.
GRANTS PASS (57): Brandes 4, Kleiner 10, Anderson 16, Thompson 2, Bruner 1, K. Wakefield 0, Pastrell 4, Mock 9, Vainuku-Johnson 2, Jimenez 0, B. Wakefield 5, Hull 2, Willett 2. Totals: 24 5-9 57.
North Medford71413— 25
Grants Pass2018109— 57
3-point goals — North Medford 2 (Patel 1, Raines 1), Grants Pass 4 (Kleiner 2, Anderson 1, Mock 1).
CRATER 93, ASHLAND 14: At Central Point, sixth-ranked Crater used a stifling full-court press to build a 23-2 lead through one quarter of play and secure a dominant Midwestern League victory in its home opener.
Loane Adaine scored on a transition assist from Abbey Lambert about 2 1/2 minutes into the contest but that was all the Grizzlies could muster against the Comets’ swarming defense until Lambert scored on a contest layup with two minutes to go in the first half to make it 44-4.
Isabel McCauley scored 17 points and Addison Dipel added 15 points and nine assists to lead Crater (9-5, 1-1 MWL), which led 47-4 at haltime and 77-10 heading to the fourth quarter.
The Comets forced 30 steals and finished with 27 assists, with Sage Winslow providing a big effort with 11 points, nine steals and seven assists. Addison Vranes also supplied five rebounds and four steals.
Abbey Lambert scored eight points for Ashland (2-8, 0-2).
ASHLAND (14): Montgomery 0, Parry 0, Lambert 8, Caruso 0, Carter 0, Poujolvara 0, Lundgren 2, Jarvis 2, Barry 0, Adiane 2, Losinski 0. Totals: 5 3-5 14.
CRATER (93): Gugliotta 6, S. Winslow 11, Vranes 0, Snow 1, Dippel 15, Munroe 12, Simmons 6, McCauley 17, Winslow 8, Traore 11, Idiart 4, Valencia. Totals: 39 10-13 93.
3-point goals — Ashland 1 (Lambert 1), Crater 5 (Dippel 1, Munroe 2, McCauley 2). Fouled out — Vranes.
JV score — Crater 48, Ashland 16