EUGENE — When the Ashland girls basketball team last saw North Eugene three weeks ago, the end result was one of the Grizzlies’ best wins of the season.
This time around, things were different.
Much, much different.
A tough night on the offensive end of the floor turned into Ashland’s second consecutive Midwestern League loss, as the Grizzlies were unable to consistently get shots to fall in a 47-35 road loss to North Eugene on Friday night.
“We kept trying, trying, trying, but just didn’t get it going on offense,” Ashland head coach Antione Perry said. “It was a tough night. It was a little disappointing on our part. The girls came fighting for it and we just couldn’t get going and the offensive struggles just killed us. It was just poor shooting.”
Ashland recorded a 58-41 win over North Eugene in tournament play at Crescent Valley High School in its final game of the 2018 calendar year.
However, the Grizzlies couldn’t replicate that kind of performance Friday night, falling to 5-8 overall and 1-5 in the MWL as a result.
North Eugene (3-12 overall, 1-6 MWL) snapped a seven-game losing skid with the win, its first victory against a team from Oregon this season.
Ashland was able to get back into the game after scoring just two points in the second quarter and going into halftime down 17-11.
“We just have to play,” Perry said in regard to his message to the team in the locker room.
The Grizzlies were able to get back into the game in the second half until the Highlanders pulled away for good down the stretch, getting clutch free throw after clutch free throw.
Sophomore wing Jayd Sollinger finished with a team-high 11 points and hit Ashland’s lone 3-pointer in the game. Grizzlies sophomore post Kendyl Abel added nine points.
North Eugene senior wing Allison Oravec and senior guard Kamryn Manley both finished with a game-high 14 points to pace the Highlanders.
Ashland returns to Mountain Avenue Gymnasium on Tuesday night when it hosts Springfield (11-4, 6-1), which suffered its first league loss Friday night against the MWL’s now-lone unbeaten Churchill (11-2, 7-0).
ASHLAND (35): Altig 2, Wilson 2, Sollinger 11, Barnes 2, Larson 0, Munson 5, Rodriguez 4, Abel 9. Totals: 12 10-18 35.
NORTH EUGENE (47): Collie 0, Cook 2, T. Manley 2, Oravec 14, K. Manley 14, Lundin 0, Martines 6, Slaughter 1, Pierce 0, Rogers 8, Smith 0. Totals: 14 18-21 50.
North Eugene891119— 47
3-point goals — Ashland 1 (Sollinger 1), North Eugene (Oravec 1).
NORTH EUGENE 50, ASHLAND 28: At Eugene, Ashland struggled offensively from the onset and could never recover as North Eugene handed the Grizzlies their fourth consecutive loss.
Ashland (5-8, 1-5), which was again without the services of senior guard KJ Pippa due to injury, only managed to score double digits in one quarter.
The Grizzlies managed only 11 made field goals and two 3-pointers, one each by senior guard Joseph Waller-Sentle and junior guard Lowell Saulsbury.
North Eugene junior wing Cameron Parks scored a game-high 18 points for the Highlanders (5-10, 2-5), who had lost six of their last nine games entering the night.
Wallner-Sentle was the only Grizzly to score in double figures, as he finished with a team-high 15 points.
Ashland faces Springfield (7-7, 3-4) on Tuesday night.
ASHLAND (28): Smith 2, Wallner-Sentle 15, Ekwall 0, Hanks 0, Sanford 0, Saulsbury 3, Swanson 0, Sayre 0, Carter 2, Desmond 0, Barnes 4, Harris 0, LaPierre 0. Totals: 11 4-6 28.
NORTH EUGENE (50): Pratt 2, DeGarmo 8, Rankin 5, Wallace 5, Duke 6, Parks 18, Richardson 2. Totals: 22 0-2 50.
North Eugene10151411— 50
3-point goals — Ashland 2 (Wallner-Sentle 1, Saulsbury 1), North Eugene 4 (Rankin 1, Duke 2, Wallace 1).
Contact Danny Penza at 541-776-4483 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at @penzatopaper.