PORTLAND — It was a long journey for the six seniors on the South Medford girls basketball team. They've been working to this moment since their freshman years. In 2020, they had a shot at taking home the title before their season came to an abrupt end. But in 2021, their chance finally came.
And they took it.
South Medford in the championship game against league foe Sheldon, left every ounce of effort on the court Thursday night as they took down the Irish 64-33 to capture what they consider a state title (the tournament was not technically an official OSAA state tournament, but for all intents and purposes, the Panthers are the top team in the state).
Led by seniors Kaili Chamberlin, Bella Stone, Toni Coleman, Emma Schmerbach, Shakia Teague-Perry and Laini Dahlin, the Panthers barraged the Sheldon defense as they took a once five-point lead and expanded it to a 21-point lead at the start of the fourth quarter.
After the final horn sounded, the tight-knit senior group jumped for joy and embraced each other as that ever-elusive title was finally theirs. A perfect 13-0 record was the perfect ending to their high school careers as all six prepare to play basketball at the college level.