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Rivalry Renewed: North Medford, South Medford Basketball Set to Meet for 80th Time

Despite being heavily favored, North Medford is wary of the Panthers size advantage.

Posted: Jan. 30, 2018 4:53 PM

MEDFORD, Ore.—The Black and Blue rivalry takes center stage on Tuesday night at Dennis Murphy Court, as South Medford hosts North Medford for the 80th all-time meeting.

At 16-2 and in first place in the Southwest Conference, the No. 7 Black Tornado come in as the favorites and winners of four straight games. But the Panthers (2-4, 6-11) do have the size advantage, and North Medford head coach Scott Plankenhorn said that’s been a focus for his team in the past few practices.

"The size always worries me every single time we've played them in the last few years,” Plankenhorn said. “We just don't have size over here. We've got Eli (Spence) that's 6'5" and a couple guys with some height but man they're throwing 6'8", 6'8", 6'5" and 6'5" and continuing to do that in the last few years, so size always worries us."

South Medford’s tallest player is 6-foot-9 senior post Jesse Higgins. He said if the Black Tornado opt to pack things down low, he has no problem in kicking the ball out to shooters.

"They'll throw it down to me the first couple possessions and I might be able to get a nice shot off, and then their defense kind of falls down onto me leaving some of our perimeter guys open for a three,” Higgins said. “Going inside out is what coach Wightman says."

Tipoff is at 6:45 p.m. and full postgame reaction will air on NewsWatch 12 at 11.

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