Tiger boys get things started off

Basketball: Undermanned Tigard drops its opener, but then wins two in a row
by: DAN BROOD TO THE BASKET — Tigard junior wing (left) Conner Olson goes up to the basket during the Tigers’ season-opening game with David Douglas on Friday.

TIGARD - OK, maybe it wasn't the best way to start the season.

But probably was to be expected.

And, the Tigard High School boys basketball team is hoping, things are going to get much, much better.

The Tigers opened their 2011-2012 season with a 45-30 loss to David Douglas in a first-round game of the Cody Hardin Invitational played Friday at Tigard High School. The Tigers entered the contest undermanned and also having their football players - who helped lead Tigard to the quarterfinal round of the Class 6A state playoffs - in practice for just three days prior to the opener.

'The football guys haven't had much time to work on their shooting, and we were missing some other players,' said Tigard senior wing Chris Mackenzie, who led the Tigers with 10 points in Friday's game. 'I think we did OK. We played good defense, but we weren't making our shots on offense.'

'The kids played hard, but we just didn't shoot well,' Tigard coach Shawn Alderman said. 'We'll get better.'

Mackenzie, playing out of position at point guard in Friday's game, paced the Tigers with hard-nosed play on both ends of the court.

'It's my senior season,' Mackenzie said. 'And I told myself to be more aggressive.'

'Chris played really well. I think we had him in there for all 32 minutes,' Alderman said. 'He played great defense. He played hard and was more aggressive.'

Mackenzie also sees good things ahead for the Tigers this year.

'We want to go to state,' he said. 'I think we can do it. Our first goal is the win the league title.'

Tigard, in Friday's opener, found itself trailing the Scots 9-2 at the end of the first quarter, with Mackenzie scoring Tigard's only basket in the period.

Mackenzie then started the second quarter with a three-point basket from the top of the circle. Tiger sophomore wing Dylan Leonard followed with a three-pointer of his own, helping Tigard trim the lead to 9-8 with 5 minutes and 12 seconds left in the period.

But David Douglas answered with a 9-0 run that included a three-pointer by senior Taye Baker.

The Tigers, getting back-to-back baskets from junior post Sam Stelk - who was one of the Tigard football players who had a late start to the basketball season - in the 1:06 of the first half, found themselves trailing 18-12 at the intermission.

Tigard, turning up its defensive intensity, battled back strong to start the third quarter. Mackenzie and Tiger junior Will Schaer each went 1-for-2 from the foul line in the opening minute of the period. Tigard junior Conner Olsen then went 2-for-2 from the line after he was fouled going to the basket, cutting the David Douglas lead to 18-16 with 5:17 left in the quarter.

The Tigers then tied the game at 18-18 when Schaer scored on a layup off a pass from Mackenzie with 4:22 left in the quarter.

But David Douglas answered back with some clutch outside shooting. The Scots got a pair of three-pointers from senior Adrian Koza and one each from Baker and senior Tanner Adrian in the final 3:28 of the quarter.

Tigard got a three-pointer of its own, coming on a shot from the left corner by junior Robby Chabreck with 2:18 left in the period, but the Tigers found themselves trailing 30-22 head into the fourth quarter.

David Douglas started to pull away early in the final stanza, getting a pair of free throws by senior guard Kevin Hurley and a three-pointer by Baker. Tigard, getting a steal and layup by Mackenzie and a pair of free throws by Stelk, trailed 36-28 with 3:44 left in the game.

But David Douglas outscored the home team 9-2 down the stretch to get the 45-30 victory.

In addition to Mackenzie's 10 points, Tigard got six points from Stelk and four from Schaer.

Baker led all scorers with 20 points.

Tigard bounced back on Saturday to score a 55-44 win over Beaverton in the tourney consolation game.

Junior guard Evan Garrison led the way for Tigard in the victory with 14 points. Senior post Shai Gray and senior guard Jarred Kelsay each scored nine points and Stelk had eight.

On Tuesday, Tigard won 60-48 in a non-league game at Clackamas.

Makenzie scored 14 points in that game. Gray had 11 and Kelsay scored nine.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they play at West Linn in a non-league game starting at 7:15 p.m.

On Tuesday, Tigard will host Jesuit in a non-league game starting at 7:15 p.m.