BOYS BASKETBALL - Barlow's late charge comes up short in 57-54 loss to North Medford
by: David Ball, Barlow's Jeremy Jones tracks down a pass at midcourt in front of North Medford's Ryan McLemore during the Bruins' 57-54 quarterfinal loss in Eugene on Thursday.

EUGENE - Barlow made a dramatic late comeback, but couldn't quite topple North Medford during a 57-54 loss in the Class 6A state quarterfinals Thursday afternoon.

The teams traded the lead four times in the fourth quarter before North Medford used a seven-point flurry to build a 55-48 lead with 3:08 to play.

But Barlow wasn't ready to wave the white flag.

Bruins' senior Garrett Strasburg was fouled on a 3-point try from the corner and drained all three free throws to spark a last-minute charge. Barlow point guard Drew Johnson followed with a steal and layin, then forced a five-second call at midcourt for another turnover.

Barlow's Mat Delaunay knocked down a foul shot to bring Barlow within 55-54 with 1:33 left.

The Bruins had a chance for the lead after Johnson made another steal at the one-minute mark. Barlow coach Tom Johnson called a quick timeout, but the Bruins never got a chance to run a play. North Medford made a quick steal off the inbounds pass and went in front 57-54 on a goaltending call.

Barlow misfired on two treys that would have tied the score down the stretch, then had a final chance when North Medford missed a free throw and the ball bounced out of bounds with 2.3 seconds left.

The Bruins moved the ball into position with two quick passes, but the buzzer sounded just before the team could hoist a final shot that clicked off the back of the rim.

Barlow overcame a double-digit deficit early in the second period and to close within 28-25 at halftime when Dustin Jones beat the buzzer with a layin.

Jones led the Bruins with 14 points, while Delaunay added 13.

Look for extended coverage of the quarterfinal game in the Saturday, March 15, issue of The Outlook.

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