MEDFORD, Ore. – The South Medford Panthers had no answer for Mercedes Russell as Springfield beat the Panthers 71-63 on Friday night. Russell, the nation’s top high school recruit, scored 37 points and 18 rebounds in the victory.
The Panthers fell behind early, but managed to take a one point lead heading into the half. Springfield opened the third quarter on a 9-0 run to take a 36-28 lead. The Millers maintained that lead through three, leading 50-41. South made a charge in the start of the fourth, cutting its deficit to three a couple of times. However, the Millers were just too much for the Panthers as they closed out South in the final minutes for the win.
The loss was the first for South Medford since March 2011. The Panthers are off for nearly two weeks before playing in the Title IX Tournament the last week of December.