The bottom line: It goes in the books as a victory for the Roseburg Indians.
Roseburg allowed last-place South Medford to hang around until the last couple of minutes, finishing with a 65-53 Southwest Conference boys basketball win on Friday night at Robertson Memorial Gym.
The Indians (14-9, 4-4 SWC), ended a three-game losing streak and remained in position to finish in the top half of the conference with two regular season games left. Roseburg sits in fourth, but is just one game out of second.
Sheldon (13-10, 6-2) holds down first, with South Eugene (17-6, 5-3) and North Medford (13-9, 5-3) tied for second. The Axe defeated the Black Tornado, 62-56, in overtime Friday in Eugene.
The top three teams receive automatic berths for the 6A playoffs.
Roseburg is 4-0 on its home court and 0-4 on the road in conference play. The Tribe is 8-2 on the season at home.
“A little bit ugly, but we got the win,” said Roseburg guard Collin Warmouth, who continued his outstanding senior season with 34 points. “We needed that win. I guess we did enough to win it.”
Senior post Carson Ellis added 20 points for Roseburg.
“It was sloppy, but a win’s a win,” Ellis said. “They don’t say sloppy win on paper, it says win.”
The Indians had a chance to put the Panthers (2-20, 1-7) away in the third quarter, but got careless with the basketball and couldn’t do it. South’s lone SWC win this season came over Roseburg, 60-46, on Jan. 25 in Medford.
A 14-foot jump shot by Ellis at the start of the third period gave the Indians their biggest lead of the contest at 36-20. But the Panthers answered with a 17-5 run over the next five minutes to cut the deficit to four.
An old-fashioned three-point play and slam dunk by Warmouth to open the fourth quarter put Roseburg back up by nine, but South Medford used some 3-point shooting to stay within striking distance.
A pair of free throws by Ellis with 59.8 seconds remaining made it 62-51 and sewed up the victory.
“I thought we stayed with it,” RHS coach Mike Pardon said. “I don’t think we were unbelievably crisp with the basketball tonight. But I thought when it was time toward the end in the fourth quarter we took care of the ball, got some nice cuts toward the basket, made some free throws and were able to take care of the win.
“It’s a win, we finished it off. We made plays when we needed to and that’s what it’s all about.”
Warmouth — Roseburg’s all-time leading scorer — had 20 points in the first half. Eight of them came in a 15-second span at the end of the second quarter.
Warmouth made a steal and scored on a layup and South Medford’s Gio Bottero was called for an intentional foul on the play with 30.1 seconds left.
Warmouth converted the foul shot, then the South Medford bench was assessed a technical foul with 28.6 seconds to go. Warmouth canned both free throws, and the Indians retained possession. Warmouth was fouled and hit two more free throws with 15.2 seconds left, giving Roseburg a 34-20 advantage at intermission.
“We weren’t winning by that much (at the time), so it was nice,” Warmouth said of the eight-point swing.
“But it didn’t matter because they came right back on us in the third,” Pardon said. “We have to make sure we stay with it ... it takes 32 minutes and you’ve got to keep playing.”
Bottero led the Panthers with 19 points, making three 3-pointers. Sherman Hunter contributed 17 points, including five 3s.
“Just us as a whole, I thought we needed more energy, especially on the defensive side,” Warmouth said.
Warmouth also finished with five rebounds and three assists. Kaden Seely chipped in six points and five rebounds. Jett Black and Merhawi Lake both grabbed five rebounds.
The Indians shot 82 percent (14 of 17) from the charity stripe.
Roseburg hosts Grants Pass (7-15, 3-5) on Tuesday on senior night.
SOUTH MEDFORD (53) — Gio Bottero 19, Hunter 17, Shepard 11, DeBoer, Gaut, Harmon 1, Pannell 5, Townley, Ramsay. Totals 19 6-13 53.
ROSEBURG (65) — Collin Warmouth 34, Black 3, Seely 6, Lake, Adams 2, Ellis 20, Avilez. Totals 24 14-17 65.
S. Medford 16 4 20 13 — 53
Roseburg 17 17 10 21 — 65
3-Point Goals — S.M. 9 (Hunter 5, Bottero 3, Pannell 1), Rose. 3 (Warmouth 2, Black 1). Total Fouls — S.M. 17, Rose. 14. Fouled Out — DeBoer. Technical Fouls — S.M. assistant coach Hammericksen.
JV Score — Roseburg 49, South Medford 37. Freshman Score — Roseburg 67, South Medford 50.