Grizz boys slam Sandy, girls earn title shot

Larry Kellems has been coaching basketball since 1977, but he's never led a team quite like the 2009-10 Ashland Grizzlies.

"This is probably the most fun I've had coaching in thirty-some-odd years," he said following Tuesday's lopsided win over Sandy. "They're a great group, they work well together and they're so coachable. We talk about stuff and they apply it."

The No. 8-ranked Ashland High boys basketball team did more applying Tuesday — as in applying the hammer to Sandy, 72-58, at the Central Oregon Les Schwab Tournament in Bend. With the win, the shorthanded Grizzlies (6-5), utilizing a six-man rotation, advanced to this morning's consolation final against Summit (4-5).

A day after Ashland flustered No. 2 Mountain View before succumbing in overtime, the Grizzlies this time had no trouble holding on after building a double-digit lead early. Led by Nino Foley's season-high 22 points, Jordan Resch's 20 and another outstanding outside shooting performance by sophomore Billy Hansen (19 points), the Grizzlies led wire to wire to earn a rematch with the Storm for fourth place.

Ashland beat Summit 64-54 on Dec. 18.

Against Sandy (5-4), Foley scored 10 points in the second quarter to help Ashland build a 12-point halftime lead and cruised to its fourth win in five games.

Ashland's defense was led by Reed Chasmar, who scored 11 points himself while holding Sandy's top scorer to 14 points, well below his average.

Kellems credited execution with Ashland's offensive success. That discipline is especially crucial this week, he said, because the Grizzlies are playing without three key players — two starters and a top reserve.

"The kids are doing an unbelievable job of running the offense," Kellems said. "The execution is almost to perfection. Guys are getting open and knocking down shots. And Reed Chasmar, he was playing out of his mind for us today, especially defensively."

Somehow, Kellems added, the Grizzlies have turned a tough situation into a positive. With only one reserve (Lucas Stone) available, the team is thriving under an all-hands-on-deck approach.

"We're just totally exhausted (after games)," Kellems said. "(Hansen) I don't think came out once today. (Monday), Pavlich didn't come out. (Resch) came out with an ankle sprain then went right back in. "¦This has been really good. We always like these tournaments away from home, and we love this tournament because before league we spend a lot of time together and we get to bond, and every day we're playing a game. It really helps solidify the team effect, and they're doing a wonderful job off the court, too."

ASHLAND (72) — Foley 22, Resch 20, Hansen 19, Chasmar 11, Pavlich 0, Stone 0, Heater 0. Totals: 30 5-8 72.

SANDY (58) — D'Aber 14, Blackman 8, Harris 6, Hufendick 6, Trosko 6, Devillarf 8, Myrnold 10, Kansala 0. Totals: 23 4-8 58.

Ashland 13 20 21 19 — 72

Sandy 9 12 27 8 — 58

3-point goals — Ashland 7 (Hansen 5, Foley 2), Sandy 8 (D'Aber 3, Harris 2, Trosko 1, Myrnold 1).

Girls Basketball

Kayla Reynolds turned in her second solid performance in as many nights to help Ashland survive Allison Gida's foul troubles in a 34-22 win over Marshfield Tuesday at the South Coast Les Schwab Tournament in Coos Bay.

Reynolds led the Grizzlies with 12 points on four 3-pointers a day after scoring 15 points, as Ashland played most of the game without Gida. The Grizzlies' all-star point guard scored eight points, but picked up three fouls in the first quarter and fouled out midway through the fourth.

"That was encouraging," Ashland head coach Tom McCracken said of the win. "I told our players afterwards that there's a lot of adversity in life and things don't always go as planned and you have to make that adjustment and do as best you can."

The Grizzlies (7-4) did that against the Pirates, who managed just five field goals in the semifinal contest.

Part of that was Marshfield's slowdown style, but Ashland's defense was key, too.

"We played excellent defense, and our defense is getting better," McCracken said.

Offensively, the Grizzlies outscored Marshfield 9-2 in the second quarter to pull away as Gida watched from the bench. She did not play in the second or third quarter.

"It was in a way a frustrating night and in another way a satisfying night," McCracken said. "When things were not going the way we had hoped we had other girls step up and do a pretty good job."

One of those girls was Reynolds, who has eight 3-pointers in her last two games.

"(Reynold's) stepping up from the 3-point line and we've been facing zones, and when we face zones she's a good perimeter shooter," McCracken said. "We were behind early, and then (Reynolds) had some good 3s and we kind of stretched it out."

Also for Ashland, Katie Patton scored six points and Drew Van Vleck four.

Ashland plays defending Class 5A state champion Willamette (9-0) in today's SCLST final. Tipoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.

"They're not the team they were a year ago, but they're undefeated," McCracken said of the Wolverines. "We'll have our work cut out for us."

ASHLAND (34)— Schulenberger 2, Van Vleck 4, Sturges 2, McCoy 0, Reynolds 12, Patton 6, Gida 8. Totals: 11 7-13 34.

MARSHFIELD (22) — Charitar 5, Scott 4, Beasley 0, Kuhn 0, Young 11, Carocci 0, Francis 2. Totals: 5 3-12 22.

Ashland 8 9 3 14 — 34

Marshfield 7 2 2 11 — 22

3-point goals — Ashland 5 (Reynolds 4, Van Vleck 1), Marshfield 3 (Charitar 1, Scott 1, Young 1). Fouled out — Gida. Technical foul — Ashland coach Tom McCracken.

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