EAGLE POINT — Seniors Gabe Young and Andres Garcia each scored in the first half and Ashland's defense blanked Eagle Point's attack until the final minute as the Grizzlies took the first of two games between the SOH 5A rivals, 2-1, Thursday at Eagle Point High School.
Young scored on a laser from about 25 yards out in the eighth minute to give the Grizzlies (5-4-1) the early lead. Then just before halftime, in the 36th minute, senior halfback Nick Chouard hit Garcia with a long cross right in front of the goal and Garcia punched it in for a 2-0 lead.
"I think we played good," Ashland coach Abdiaziz Guled said. "We had a rough game in Roseburg (on Tuesday) that cost us a lot of points in the rankings and this was important for us to keep up."
Eagle Point (5-4-1) scored its only goal in the final seconds when Ronaldo Rincones gained control of a ball after it hit the post and kicked it in.
Ashland, which snapped a three-game losing streak, has only three games remaining on its regular season schedule. The Grizzlies' next game is Tuesday at South Medford.
Sophomore striker Jessica Harrower scored twice in the second half to complete a hat trick and help Ashland secure the SOH 5A title by clinching the three-game season series over Eagle Point with a 4-0 win Thursday at North Mountain Park.
Ashland's Sadie Bailey assisted on both of Harrower's second-half goals and also scored the game's first goal herself after swiping the ball from an Eagles' defender in the box and connecting from short range. Harrower made it 2-0 in the 29th after a cross by Bailey was cleared directly to Harrower. The two Grizzlies teamed up again in the 47th and 77th for Ashland (5-3-2, 2-0 SOH), which also beat the Eagles (2-6-1, 0-2) 3-0 on Sept. 28.
The Grizziles' defense also had a big day.
"My keeper never touched the ball in the first half and only touched it twice in the second half," Ashland coach Eric Wolff said.
At Medford, Kelsey Bartlett's stellar all-around performance helped South Medford recover from a bad opening set to beat Ashland in a nonleague match, 15-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-18, Thursday at South Medford High School.
Bartlett had 21 assists, eight digs and eight aces, Grace Sporer 20 digs and one ace and Claire Sporer 13 kills and seven digs to pace the Panthers (3-8).
For Ashland (6-13), Jordan Tilley had 26 assists, three kills and two aces, Hope Baldrica six kills and four blocks and Carly Walker 12 digs and three aces.
Phoenix junior Nevina De Luca broke the course record and helped the Pirates capture the team title at the 11-school Phoenix 5k at Oak Knoll Golf Course on Wednesday.
De Luca finished the 5,000-meter race in 20 minutes, 6 seconds, eclipsing the mark Hidden Valley's Alyssa Watson set in 2008. Teammate Danielle Jantzer was third (21:32) out of 93 runners.
On the boys side, North Medford junior Connor Covey claimed first out of 165 with a time of 17:09. Phoenix captured the boys title, topping the runner-up Black Tornado by 10 points.
Cascade Christian's Tristan Akery was second (17:17) and North Medford's Jon Serna third (17:22).
TEAM SCORES — Phoenix 60, North Medford 80, Grants Pass 108, Hidden Valley 142, Ashland 147, St. Mary's 172, Henley 178, South Umpqua 205, Rogue River 213, Cascade Christian 256, Mazama 317, Crater 324, Mt. Shasta 348, Eagle Point 354.
TOP 20 — 1, Connor Covey, NM, 17:09; 2, Tristan Akery, CC, 17:17; 3, Jon Serna, NM, 17:22; 4, Randy Mena, Phx, 17:45; 5, Thomas Hayes, GP, 17:50; 6, Rio Lopez, RR, 18:00; 7, Phillip Todak, Phx, 18:08; 8, Zeb Amos, NV, 18:11; 9, Conor Keating, StM, 18:15; 10, Thomas Fate, HV, 18:15; 11, Zach Blanco, HV, 18:16; 12, Shane Crofoot, HV, 18:16; 13, Devin Ferner, Dog, 18:19; 14, Barrett Titus, GP, 18:21; 15, Zane Riggs, Hen, 18:22; 16, Tracy Salgado, StM, 18:27; 17, Michael Martin, Etn, 18:28; 18, Nigel Leonis, Phx, 18:31; 19, Thomas Skaff, Phx, 18:34; 20, Chris Martin, StM, 18:36.
TEAM SCORES — Phoenix 70, Hidden Valley 73, St. Mary's 80, Ashland 94, Grants Pass 99, Henley 119, North Medford 174, North Valley 202, Cascade Christian 224, Crater 239, Mazama 297.
TOP 20 — 1, Nevina De Luca, Phx, 20:06; 2, Tamera Howell, MtS, 20:35; 3, Danielle Jantzer, Phx, 21:32; 4, Shayla Potratz, Phx, 21:43; 5, Zaruba Anderson, HV, 21:43; 6, Madison Rounsaville, GP, 21:48; 7, Becky Ottosen, HV, 21:58; 8, Christine Impara, Ash, 22:16; 9, Rachel Bennion, StM, 22:16; 10, Alyssa Hayes, GP, 22:16; 11, Abi Johnson, GP, 22:25; 12, Gianna Isola, StM, 22:36; 13, Reilly Frerk, HV, 22:38; 14, Sara Dunagan, Ash, 22:48; 15, Megan Schiavone, HV, 22:54; 16, Katlynn Suregon, NM, 22:55; 17, McKenna Armantrout, Hen, 22:59; 18, Leta Spradley, Hen, 23:04; 19, Meg Vasey, StM, 23:08; 20, Paige Stephens, Ash, 23:10.