Sometimes, doing a good job and giving a good effort is not enough.
Such was the case Tuesday night as Roseburg lost for the third time this season to eighth-ranked North Medford. This time, the final was 59-48 at Stewart W. Robertson Memorial Gymnasium in the Southwest Conference boys basketball contest.
That was the closest the Indians have been with North Medford this year.
“We’re improving — it doesn’t necessarily show up (how we’d like it) — we should’ve beat South Medford, we lose to Willamette in double overtime,” RHS coach Mike Pardon said. “I’m proud of our kids. We gave really good effort.”
Against the defending Southwest Conference champion Black Tornado, that wasn’t enough. North Medford (19-3, 8-2 SWC) maintained a one-game lead on Grants Pass in the race for the title with two contests remaining.
For Roseburg (11-11, 2-8 SWC), the loss dipped the Tribe to No. 37 in the power rankings — on the bubble for a Class 6A play-in game. The Tribe will host South Eugene (10-12, 5-5) on Friday and travels to Grants Pass next Tuesday to end the regular season.
Win those two games and the Indians will have a hope of being one of the eight play-in teams for the first time since 2014. They would also be assured of a winning season for the first time since RHS was 18-7 in 2013.
“We have to win,” Pardon said. “I know this is hard for people to believe: we’re trying to win every game. We spend a lot of time on it, the kids are spending a lot of time on it.”
The Indians have been close, quite often, in SWC play after building a resume against nonleague opposition. And they were close against a Black Tornado squad that lit them up twice in Medford earlier this season.
Roseburg managed, for the most part, to play at its preferred tempo. But after a 4-4 first quarter, North Medford came up with a handful of turnovers with its press and Jaray Thomas scored all 10 of his points in the second quarter to fuel a 21-10 spurt.
John Crince’s baseline 3-pointer pulled the Indians within 25-17 at the half, but North Medford stretched the lead to 12 after the third period.
“They’ve only been three times all year in the 50s, and they’ve been beat in the 50s, so that’s what we were hoping for,” Pardon said. “There were a couple of times we just had to take care of the ball and make some shots, and we didn’t make those shots.”
The Tribe was within 47-40 when Garrett Parker stuck a trey from the top of the arc. Roseburg answered with Cody Johnson’s 3-pointer, but North Medford hit its free throws down the stretch and Roseburg struggled to score when the Tornado did miss.
“I was pleased with our effort,” Pardon said. “We played good. We rattled back after falling behind to get the game closer and we kept it in a distance where, if we make a couple of shots, we make it interesting.”
Kaison Faust, the top scorer in the SWC, led North Medford with 18 points, while Quinton Rumrey added 12 and Thomas had 10. Faust’s total points were the most he scored against RHS in three contests; he was averaging 24.7 points a game entering Tuesday’s contest.
Roseburg junior guard Collin Warmouth, the third leading scorer in the SWC, finished with 18 for the Tribe. Crince and Johnson both added eight points.
NORTH MEDFORD (59) — Kaison Faust 6 6-7 18, Wells 1 2-4 4, Sandoval 0 0-0 0, Banuelos 4 0-1 8, Rumry 2 8-9 12, Thomas 3 2-2 10, O’Conner 0 0-1 0, Parker 3 0-0 7, Spence 0 0-2 0. Totals 19 14-26 59.
ROSEBURG (48) — Collin Warmouth 4 10-10 18, Crince 2 3-3 8, Johnson 3 0-0 8, Seely 0 0-2 0, Lake 3 0-0 6, Stone 2 0-0 4, Ellis 1 2-2 4. Totals 15 15-17 48.
N.Medford 4 21 17 17 — 59
Roseburg 4 13 13 18 — 48
3-Point Goals — N.M. 3 (Thomas 2, Parker 1), Rose. 3 (Crince 1, Johnson 2). Total Fouls — N.M. 17, Rose. 19. Fouled Out — Lake.