MEDFORD — The Ashland boys basketball team couldn’t overcome Dayton’s “special” defense in the semifinals of the Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic, Friday at Cascade Christian High School.

Tanner Lewis scored nine of his game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter and Dayton held Ashland to 15 points in the middle two quarters to win 56-41.

The Grizzlies (4-3) were within eight points with three minutes to go before the defending Class 3A state champion Pirates (7-0) pulled away at the free throw line. Dayton went 9-for-12 at the charity stripe in the fourth quarter.

“Dayton is a special defensive team,” Ashland coach Sam Osofsky said. “They defend as well as any team in Oregon at any level. They do a great job of keeping you out of what you want to do. So credit to them.”

KJ Pippa scored 12 points and Adam Jones 11 to lead the Grizzlies, whose four-game win streak came to an end. One night after going off for 36 points, Anthony Swanson was held to four.

“We struggled getting into our offense and we struggled to get good looks,” Osofsky said. “I thought in the fourth we gave ourselves a chance, but at that point it was a make-miss game and we missed a few too many down the stretch.”

Ashland will play in the third-place game at 4:30 p.m.

ASHLAND (41): Pippa 12, Swanson 4, Wallner-Sentle 6, Ekwall 3, A. Jones 11, Desmond 0, Saulsbury 5. Totals: 14 7-14 41.

DAYTON (56): Nowlin 8, Findley 5, Brodeur 6, Lewis 18, Howard 17, Fergus 2, Ashley 0. Totals: 19 15-22 56.



3-point goals — Ashland 6 (A. Jones 3, Wallner-Sentle 1, Ekwall 1, Saulsbury 1), Dayton 2 (Nowlin 1, Lewis 1). Fouled out — Saulsbury.

Girls Basketball

At Medford, Ashland outscored Cascade Christian 9-2 down the stretch to win 46-43 and advance to the championship game of the Southern Oregon Subaru Christmas Classic, Friday at Cascade Christian High School.

Ashland junior guard Sarah Summers had 11 points, five rebounds and three steals, and hit two clutch free throws with 16 seconds left for the final margin. Cascade Christian’s Emily Stephens missed a contested 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

“We’re coming together, playing hard and we’re playing really good defense right now,” Ashland head coach Antione Perry said.

Vita Witnauer scored 13 points and Mya Elder-Hammond had six rebounds and three assists for the Grizzlies (2-4), who will play Midwestern League rival Crater for the tourney championship tonight at 6.

Stephens led Cascade Christian (5-6) with 21 points.

Perry said Witnauer, who also drained two key free throws late, was a difference-maker for the Grizzlies, holding Stephens to two points in the fourth quarter.

“(Witnauer) was 6-for-12 from the field and then hit the big free throws, and she actually played some really good defense on Stephens,” he said.

CASCADE CHRISTIAN (43): Willard 3, Reed 0, Alexander 0, Meilicke 0, White 9, Ferreira 10, Stephens 21. Totals: 20 3-8 43.

ASHLAND (46): Altig 0, Voskes 0, Sollinger 4, Barnes 4, Gorringe 0, Munson 2, Elder-Hammond 4, Summers 11, Witnauer 13, Rodriguez 8, Abel 0. Totals: 21 4-6 46.

Cascade Christian;8;9;13;11;—;43


JV result — Ashland 34, Cascade Christian 28.

Joe Zavala is a reporter for the Ashland Daily Tidings. Reach him at 541-821-0829 or Follow him on Twitter at @Joe_Zavala99.