North Medford puts Ashland on his heels early to win Abby’s tournament final
For a group of sympathetic young men, the North Medford basketball team may make strangers uncomfortable.
This healthy face put on by the 10th-ranked Black Tornado belies the true aggressive and relentless nature of the players, which was once again in the spotlight on Thursday to conclude the 31st edition of the Abby’s Holiday Classic.
Wholesome quickly turned boring in the gym at South Medford High, with North Medford opening a 23-9 quarterback lead over shorthanded Ashland and holding steady for a possible 85-45 victory.
“It’s always been like that,” said North Medford senior Trey Neff of his team’s approach. “We’ve always had the mentality to go out there and just beat them.”
“We are all good children and we all love each other,” he added so as not to be mistaken. “It’s just a fun group of guys; I am happy to be part of this team.
Trey Neff scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half and finished with six rebounds and four assists for Black Tornado (10-1), while fellow senior Bryce Dyer finished with 20 points, 14 rebounds and six assists.
Izzy Golden scored 12 points and Azure McNamara added 10 for Ashland (3-4), who was already without starters Hawthorn Lapierre (one game suspension) and Toby Barnes (concussion) before losing the services of Egan Shields due to a bruised thigh problem. after a quarter of play.
“I appreciated everyone’s efforts,” said Ashland head coach Sam Osofsky. “I thought we were out and believed in it. What a great opportunity for a lot of freshmen and young guys to play against a top team in a really cool environment at the Abby’s tournament. Ultimately, on the road, it will make us better.
North Medford again used a fluid offense built on active defense creating offensive opportunities in transition to send Ashland for the second time this season.
Time and time again, the Black Tornado managed to disrupt the Grizzlies’ intentions on offense and dutifully split the basketball to get points from all five starters in the first quarter.
“If I don’t have to call I’m much happier on the bench,” said North Medford head coach Scott Plankenhorn. “I can call a lot of things – and we’ve got a lot of stuff in it – but for us to actually play in transition, move it around and share it, that’s where I enjoy the game the most and want to play it. , where you can share and the good guy shoots the basketball.
“We’re just trying to let it go and let the guys play because there are so many guys on our team who can make plays,” he added.
Ty Neff scored five of his seven points in the first quarter and totaled four assists, while junior Antonio Orozco turned rebounds into quick assists with his one-on-one play and senior O’Shea Miller received a nice look inside the paint to score six goals. his 13 points in the first quarter.
Orozco finished with eight points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“We all work really well together as a team,” said Trey Neff. “We put it on and put it on until we get it looking great. We went out today and got some easy interceptions on defense and that led to some transition buckets. We were successful from the start.
North’s ability to share the basketball and convert quickly put Ashland on her heels. It also didn’t help that the Grizzlies had multiple opportunities to slow down the Tornado’s momentum, but couldn’t take advantage of the beauty that was created.
“There is no doubt about it basketball is a game to be avoided,” said Osofsky, whose team were 3 for 14 on the court in the first quarter and 9 for 25 in the first half. -time. “If three or four of those 3 come into the first half and we lose five or six (points), it looks a little different.”
“I thought maybe with some of our guys (North) weren’t as sharp as they normally play so it’s hard to really say how that would go,” added the coach, “but I was really proud of our guys’ focus and effort to start this game. I think we executed well and got our looks, they just didn’t fall early.
The tornado was leading 25-12 as Trey Neff provided a scoring streak that started with a deep 3-point pointer, then backed off a few feet for another trey on the next possession before stealing the ball for a transitional layup in his own 8-0 run.
The 6-foot-2 goaltender’s second shot beyond the arc was from NBA reach, and he punctuated the long-range effort with a slight tilt towards the basket for a bit more goodwill.
“I just saw it was wide open there,” said Trey Neff, who hasn’t been shy about trying 3-point deep this season. “I wasn’t sure if I should take another dribble if a guy came in and I was hot, so I just pulled him up and he came in. Maybe (the extra skinny) helped a bit, dunno. I was just happy to see him come in.
The fact that such a shot would come in didn’t surprise Osofsky, who has seen North play at a high level twice now on the opposing bench.
“They are a really special team,” said the coach. “They have guys with engines and they’re really stuck defensively. They are going to be one of the teams to beat in the State with the way they perform and how they are really well trained on top of it all. It’s fun playing against them because it makes us better so we always appreciate the opportunity.
ASHLAND (45): Stowasser 3, Golden 12, Wright 3, Cooper 4, Thompson 7, Barnard 4, Hermogenes 0, McNamara 10, Shields 2. Totals: 16-38 5-8 45.
NORTH MEDFORD (85): McLean 2, Klug 0, Ty. Neff 7, Tr. Neff 20, Plankenhorn 0, O’Neill 0, Carr 5, Young 4, Miller 13, Orozco 8, Dyer 20, Goodrich 6. Totals: 35-59 9-18 85.
North Medford 23182915— 85
3 Point Goals – Ashland 8 (Golden 3, McNamara 2, Stowasser 1, Wright 1, Thompson 1), North Medford 6 (Tr. Neff 2, Ty. Neff 1, Carr 1, Orozco 1, Dyer 1).
An idea of history? Contact sports editor Kris Henry at 541-776-4488, [email protected] or www.twitter.com/Kris_Henry
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Treyson Neff of North Medford clears the ball away from Ashland’s Sean Thompson in the first quarter of Thursday’s game.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Antonio Orozco of North Medford chases a loose ball during the first quarter of Thursday’s game against Ashland.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Austin McLean of North Medford walks to the basket during the second quarter of Thursday’s game against Ashland.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune North Medford’s Bryce Dyer scores two points in the second quarter of Thursday’s game against Ashland.
Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune Treyson Neff of North Medford shoots for three points during the second quarter of Thursday’s game against Ashland.