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Off to a roaring start

Girls basketball: Tigard rolls to a 49-32 win over defending state champ Jesuit
by: DAN BROOD TO THE HOOP — Tigard sophomore guard Lexi Carter (right) drives hard to the basket against Jesuit’s Rachel Mendelsohn in Tuesday’s game. Tigard won 49-32.

BEAVERTON - The Tigard High School girls basketball team has set some high goals this season.

And the Tigers say they're willing to put in the work and take things step-by-step to reach those goals.

Well, Tigard certainly took an impressive step Tuesday as it ran to a 49-32 win over defending Class 6A state champion Jesuit in a non-league game played at Jesuit High.

'This feels great,' Tigard sophomore guard Lexi Carter said with a smile. 'Things are going really good. Everyone is really working hard.'

Jesuit fell to 1-4 on the season with the setback. Tigard upped its early-season record to 2-1 with the victory.

'Everyone is contributing,' said Tigard senior post Maddie Black, who scored 15 points in the victory. 'I think we have a lot of commitment. We all see what we want. We want to go as far as we went last year, and beyond that, and we're all working hard to get there.'

The Tigers, in Tuesday's game at Jesuit, got off to a flying start and never looked back. Black sank a three-point from the right corner, off an assist from junior Megan Risinger, to give Tigard a 3-0 lead just 22 seconds into the game.

From there, Tigard never trailed nor was even tied by the Crusaders.

Carter and Black scored back-to-back baskets to give Tigard a 7-2 lead with 4:03 left in the first quarter.

Tiger sophomore Emilee Cincotta scored on a driving jump shot and Carter added a free throw late in the quarter to give Tigard a 10-4 lead at the end of the opening period.

'We wanted to come out and start strong,' said Carter, who led all scorers with 17 points.

The Tigers continued their strong play in the second quarter. Carter scored four consecutive points to start the period. Tigard senior Jessica Roshak then sank a three-pointer from left of the top of the circle to push the Tiger lead to 10, at 17-7, with 5:59 left in the quarter.

Jesuit trimmed the margin to 19-16 after senior Rachel Mendelsohn connected on a three-pointer with 3:26 left in the first half.

But Tigard answered back quickly, as Roshak scored five straight points, three coming on a three-pointer from the left corner off an assist from Cincotta. That helped Tigard up its lead to 24-18 at halftime.

The Tigers kept adding to their advantage in the third quarter. Black scored a pair of baskets in the first minute of the period to make the score 28-19.

Roshak sank a foul-line jumper later in the quarter and Black capped off the period with a six-foot jump shot, giving Tigard a 33-24 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Jesuit got a three-pointer by Sophie LeRoux to start the final stanza, making the score 33-27, but Tigard wouldn't let the Crusaders get any closer.

Black answered back with a 10-foot jumper off an assist from Carter to up the lead to 35-27 with 7:14 left in the game.

Tigard then wrapping things up from the foul line, shooting at a 14-for-16 clip from the stripe in the final 5:42 of the game. Carter went 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to help seal the victory.

'That was kind of a low-energy game,' Tigard coach Steve Naylor said. 'Our defense was pretty good, but we have to be more patient on offense. We're starting over again this year and we're still working out the kinks.'

On defense, Tigard helped force Jesuit into an 11-for-42 (26.1 percent) shooting night from the field.

'Defense is our focus,' Black said. 'We play intense on defense, and it all follows to offense. I think we all have good attitudes and we're gelling well.'

'And quick,' Carter added.

In addition to her game-high 17 points, Carter also had six rebounds and three assists. Black had five rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals to go with her 15 points.

Roshak added 10 points for the Tigers. Cincotta had four points, four rebounds and three assists and Risinger pulled down six rebounds.

Mendelsohn led Jesuit with 14 points.

Prior to the win over Jesuit, Tigard posted a 42-31 win over West Linn in a non-league game played Friday at Tigard High School. Black scored 20 points in that game. Carter added 13 and Risinger scored six.

Tigard will be back in action Friday when it hosts Westview in a non-league game starting at 7:15 p.m.

'We've got a tough schedule,' Black said. 'That will help us a ton for league.'

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