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Tigers put the clamps on McMinnville

Boys basketball: Tigard moves to 2-0 in league play by scoring a 46-33 win over the Grizzlies
by: DAN BROOD, DRIBBLE DRIVE – Tigard sophomore guard Jalen Caoile (right) looks to get by McMinnville’s Casey Winkler.

TIGARD - The Tigers didn't seem to have their best night on offense.

But that didn't matter.

Thanks to a strong night on the defensive end of the court, the Tigard High School boys basketball team kept its perfect Pacific Conference record intact.

The Tigers, with their intense effort on defense, notched a 46-33 win over McMinnville in a league game played Tuesday at Tigard High School.

'Defense was big for us,' said Tigard senior Kyle Figura, who led all scorers with 12 points. 'We wanted to stop (McMinnville senior Kyle) Long, and Ryan Gorton did a great job on him. Everyone else stepped up and helped.'

McMinnville moved to 1-1 in Pacific Conference play (5-6 on the season) with the loss. Tigard improved to 2-0 in league games and to 7-4 on the season.

'It's awesome,' Figura said of the 2-0 start to league play. 'We're trying to get some momentum going.'

In Tuesday's game, Tigard made sure that Long and the Grizzlies had trouble getting any sort of momentum going. Long came into the contest averaging more than 22 points a game. He also had a 30-point outing in McMinnville's league-opening win at Newberg on Friday. But Gorton and the Tigers limited him to just eight points on Tuesday.

'We played real well on defense,' Tigard coach Shawn Alderman said. 'Gorton did a great job on Long and everyone else did a good job as well. We weren't very sharp on offense and we turned the ball over too much, but we played hard.'

Tigard, which never trailed in the contest, put the clamps down on McMinnville right from the start. The Grizzlies made just three of 15 shots from the field in the first quarter, which ended with the Tigers holding a 12-7 lead.

Figura scored the first two baskets of the second quarter to up the lead to 16-7. McMinnville, which made just five of 23 shots in the first half, cut the lead to 18-12 when Long sank a 10-foot jumper with 2 minutes and 56 seconds left in the quarter. But the Grizzlies wouldn't score again in the period.

Tigard got a three-point basket from senior Isaiah Ferrer, off an assist from sophomore point guard Jalen Caoile, and Figura scored off a layup on another assist by Caoile to give Tigard a 23-12 halftime lead.

Figura, sinking a pair of foul-line jumpers, helped Tigard add onto its lead in the third quarter.

His layup, off a pass from senior guard Derek Alik, gave the Tigers a 36-22 lead with 1 minute and 44 seconds left in the period. McMinnville senior Colby Garvin sank a three-pointer to cut the lead to 36-25 going into the fourth quarter.

But the Grizzlies never threatened in the final stanza. Tiger junior Matt Alexander scored four straight points to give Tigard its biggest lead of the contest, at 44-29, with 2:24 left to play. From there the Tigers cruised to the 46-33 victory.

'We did a good job tonight,' Figura said. 'We did good on the boards, but we can do better. We'll work on that.'

Figura scored his 12 points on a 6-for-10 shooting night. Gorton added 10 points, Ferrer had seven and senior David Walker scored six points.

Tigard, as a team, made 21 of 46 shots from the field.

The Tiger defense helped force McMinnville into a 13-for-39 shooting night. The Tigers also outrebounded the Grizzlies by a 32-18 margin.

Garvin led McMinnville with nine points.

Tigard opened league play Friday with a 45-36 win at Forest Grove. Gorton scored 12 points in that game and Ferrer had 11.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they play at Canby in a 7:30 p.m. game. On Tuesday, Tigard travels to take on rival Tualatin at 7:30 p.m.

'Our next two games are big,' Alderman said.