North Medford turns fast start into home win over Ashland

MEDFORD — The Ashland Grizzlies missed too many open shots, turned the ball over at will and lost two key players to foul trouble. And to Ashland head coach Tom McCracken, all those deficiencies could be boiled down to one simple fact: "We just did not come to play."

North Medford combined tight defensive pressure and balanced scoring to post a 50-41 home nonconference girls basketball victory over Ashland Tuesday at North Medford High.

The Black Tornado jumped out to an 8-0 start against the Grizzlies (2-5) and never trailed. Ashland cut the lead to two points with a minute to go in the third quarter, but the Tornado (4-1) quickly upped the lead to seven again before pulling away late.

"They're not a bad defensive team but we shot the ball horrible," McCracken said. "We've got to give them some credit, but we were the problem. We just didn't play well."

Ashland's third loss in its last four games dropped the Class 5A Grizzlies to 0-4 on the road.

North Medford, a Class 6A team, earned its third win in a row since suffering a 29-point blowout loss to Franklin.

"Our girls played really well," said North Medford first-year coach Kevin Dixon. "I was happy with our overall effort. We're playing well together."

North junior point guard Karissa Dixon scored 12 points, provided six assists and came up with five steals. Sophomore Alyssa Maurer contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. And Andrea Egge also had 12 points.

"They do penetrate to the hole well, the put the ball on the floor very well and we didn't defend like we needed to," McCracken said.

Ashland's Kelsey McKinnis paced all scorers with 17 points and point guard Allison Gida, who fouled out with five minutes to go, chipped in 14. Natalie DelCarlo and Xenia Contreras each chipped in four points, although DelCarlo fouled out shortly after Gida was disqualified.

Black Tornado junior guard Natalie DeKorte played outstanding on the defensive end and contributed eight points.

North led 25-21 at halftime, then maintained the advantage after intermission.

"We could have executed better in the second half," said Dixon. "We need to be more patient when we have the lead. We want to spread people out and get to the rim.

"This was a good measuring rod. Ashland beat South Medford and Grants Pass. This give us an idea where we're at."

Ashland is now off until Saturday, the first day of Lake Oswego's Interstate Shootout. The Grizzlies will play David Douglas (2-3) in the first round. Other teams at the tournament include South Eugene, the No. 4-ranked 6A team, No. 11 Tigard, Lake Oswego, Lakeridge, Glencoe, South Salem, Rex Putnam, South Medford, Centennial, Mountain View and Liberty, the No. 6-ranked 5A team.

ASHLAND (41) — Van Vleck 2, Contreras 4, McKinnis 17, Petitt 0, Palmesano 0, Gida 14, DelCarlo 4. Totals: 14 9-15 41.

NORTH MEDFORD (50) — Straub 0, Schmidt 0, Maurer 12, DeKorte 8, Black 0, Dixon 12, Egge 12, Webb 0, Smith 6, D. Totals: 20 9-21 50.

Ashland 9 12 6 14 — 41

North Medford 14 11 9 16 — 50

3-point goals — Ashland 4 (McKinnis 4), North Medford 1 (Egge 1). Fouled out — Gida, DelCarlo.

JV result — Ashland won.

College Football

Seven members of the Southern Oregon football team have been named to the All-Independent Team in a voting done by the NAIA's 10 Independent Coaches.

Running back Marlon Rosales, offensive linemen Trent Henson and Jordan Myers, defensive lineman Ben Baker, linebacker Damario Watson, defensive back Jason Young and kicker Corey O'Neill all earned honors for the Raiders. SOU had the most honors of any NAIA Independent team.

SOU finished the 2008 season with a 3-7 record.

Rosales led the SOU offense with a 1,000 yard rushing performance behind the offensive line work of Henson and Myers. Rosales finished the season with 1,007 yards and four touchdowns. The 1,007 yards ranked 16th in the NAIA.

Baker, Watson and Young were all among SOU's leaders on defense.

Baker led the Raiders with 10.5 tackles-for-loss and ranked second on the team with three sacks.

Watson finished tied for second on the team in tackles with 62 and finished third in TFL's with 7.5.

Young finished tied for the team lead with three interceptions.

O'Neill finished the season making 12 of 18 field goals, including going 10-for-11 from less than 40 yards. O'Neill finished third in the NAIA in field goals and 23rd in the Nation in field goal percentage.

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