Aggressive defense helps Grant girls make bursts, beat South Medford, 56-45

TRIBUNE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Grant High's Daryn Hickok twists around and shoots over South Medford in the quarterfinals of the 6A girls basketball tournament Thursday at Chiles Center.
Having reached the state quarterfinals for the first time in more than three decades, the Grant High girls basketball team was determined not to short-change itself on Thursday.

Once the Generals settled their nerves, they rattled the South Medford Panthers and secured a 56-45 win at Chiles Center.

That gave Grant a berth in Friday's Oregon School Activities Association 6:30 p.m. semifinal game against Southridge. It'll be fourth-seeded Grant (25-2) against the top-seeded Skyhawks (25-2).

"My mind-set was can't go anywhere without winning this game," Grant sophomore Daryn Hickok said. "We can't get to the championship, which is our end goal. We can't play Southridge. We couldn't do any of that unless we won. So I was thinking we have to win. We have to play as hard as we can and leave it all out there."

Hickok did her part. She scored 14 of her game-high 22 points in the second half, attacking the basket for key scores that answered each push from the Panthers.

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