Grizzlies advance to state semis

    Zelia Harrison and Sierra Pokrob scored four goals apiece, leading the Ashland High School girls water polo team to an 11-8 victory over Bend in a Class 5A/4A playoff match Thursday at the Osborn Aquatic Center in Corvallis.

    The win advanced the Grizzlies to the four-team state tournament at the same site, where fifth-seeded Ashland will face top seed and defending state champion Hood River, Friday at 2:30 p.m. for a spot in the championship match. Second-seeded Summit will face third-seeded Sandy in the other semifinal.

    The Ashland boys fell to Bend 16-4 in a boys 5A/4A playoff match Thursday.

    Harrison scored two goals in the fourth quarter to help the Grizzlies maintain their lead, which was 4-1 at the half and 8-3 after three quarters.

    Also for Ashland, Isabelle Nicolier had 11 saves, including six in the second quarter.

    The Ashland-Hood River winner will face the Summit-Sandy winner in the championship match Saturday at 4:15 p.m., while the two losers will play for third place at 11:15 a.m.

    The Ashland girls are aiming for their first state championship since 2008 and first championship match appearance since 2011. 

    College Football

    Southern Oregon jumped two spots to No. 5 in the NAIA Top 25 coaches' poll heading into its regular-season finale at Montana Tech, which tumbled five spots to No. 22.

    The Raiders, who at 9-0 are one of six teams in the country still undefeated, can all but lock up a home game in the first round of the NAIA Football Championship Series by beating the Orediggers Saturday in Butte, Montana.

    Montana Tech fell in the rankings after suffering a 64-35 loss at College of Idaho.

    Saint Francis remained the unanimous No. 1, followed by No. 2 Reinhardt and No. 3 Morningside. Baker fell from No. 2 to No. 7 after losing for the first time all season.

    Southern Oregon beat Montana State-Northern 38-17 on Saturday to clinch the Frontier Conference championship outright and an automatic playoff berth. It was the Raiders' first Frontier title since 2012, when they shared it with Montana Tech.

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

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