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Timberwolves turn up the tempo

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Tualatin runs to a 90-33 victory over South Salem
by: Dan Brood, Tualatin's Sam Child (32) and South Salem's Kelsey White both eye a loose ball in Friday's game. Child scored 15 points in the Timberwolves' 90-33 victory

TUALATIN - There's a lot of new faces on the court for the Tualatin High School girls basketball team this year.

But, on Friday, it looked like the same old Timberwolves.

Tualatin, using the same up-tempo style of play that helped the team put together a 28-1 record last year, rolled to a 90-33 win over South Salem in a non-league game played Friday at Tualatin High School.

'Our goal for tonight was to play at our pace, our tempo,' Tualatin senior wing Lindsey Wilcox said after the game. 'We did what we came to do.'

The Wolves, who have just one returning starter from last year's team that placed third at the state tournament, improved to 2-1 with the win. South Salem dropped to 1-3 on the season with the loss.

Tualatin, in addition to wanting to push the pace in Friday's game, was also looking to bounce back strong after Tuesday's 65-39 loss to No. 1-ranked Southridge.

'This was a good step in the right direction,' said Tualatin senior Jen Gruss, who led a balanced Tualatin scoring attack with 18 points. 'We've got a lot of young players, but they're doing a good job. We came together as a team tonight.'

Tualatin, in the victory over the Saxons, seemed to dominate from start to finish.

The Wolves, behind the play of senior Sam Child, the team's only returning starter, and Wilcox sprinted out to a 25-2 lead before the first quarter even ended.

Child, who already has signed a national letter of intent to attend the University of San Diego on a basketball scholarship, had eight points, five rebounds, three steals and an assist in the opening quarter, which ended with the Wolves holding a 27-3 lead.

Gruss took over in the second quarter. The sharp-shooter scored 12 points in a span of 3 minutes and 2 seconds in the period, helping Tualatin increase its lead to 51-13 at halftime.

The Tualatin lead was 68-21 at the end of the third quarter. Freshman Marissa Senger scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter as the Wolves closed out their 90-33 win.

'We ran at our pace tonight. We played at our tempo,' Tualatin coach Todd Jukkala said. 'I'm happy with everyone. The kids off the bench did their job.'

For the game, Tualatin made 31 of 74 shots from the field and 23 of 29 free throw attempts. The Wolves also outrebounded South Salem by a 55-28 margin while also helping force the Saxons into 32 turnovers.

Child finished the game with 15 points, eight rebounds and five steals. Sophomore guard Madeline Houston came off the bench to score 13 points.

Wilcox had eight points and 10 rebounds. Junior post Janelle Cromie was a strong force inside for Tualatin with seven rebounds and four blocked shots.

Junior wing Megan Rollins led South Salem with six points. The Saxons shot at a 13-for-52 clip from the field and they made six of 14 free throw attempts.

Both teams will be back in action on Tuesday. Tualatin hosts Lakeridge in a non-league game starting at 7:15 p.m. South Salem will host Crescent Valley at 7 p.m.

For a complete story, with more statistics and photos, see the Dec. 14 issue of the Tigard/Tualatin Times.