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Tiger girls keep on rolling

Basketball: Brittany Duty scores 27 in 70-52 win over Newberg
by: DAN BROOD, DRIVING — Tigard junior Melissa Woolard (left) goes up to the basket right before the end of the third quarter in the win over Newberg.

TIGARD - Letdown?

What letdown?

The Tigard High School girls basketball team, playing in its first game following its emotional win over rival Tualatin, didn't seem to show any signs of any sort of letdown when it took on Newberg.

Tigard, getting off to a roaring start in front of a large 'T-Town Throwdown' crowd, rolled to a 70-52 win over Newberg in a Pacific Conference game played Friday at Tigard High School.

'We were pumped up for this one,' Tigard junior guard Melissa Woolard said. 'But we could have done better in the second half. The Tualatin game was a very exciting win for us. It got us pumped up and it carried over to tonight.'

With the win, Tigard moved to 13-3 on the season while improving its first-place league record to 6-1.

'This is a big win,' said Tigard senior post Brittany Duty, who led all scorers in the contest with 27 points. 'We played well, but not as well as we'd like on defense. We were really pumped up at the beginning of the game, we just can't let down.'

Newberg fell to 2-5 in league play with the loss.

Tigard, and Duty, got off to a blistering start to Friday's game. Duty scored 14 points in the first quarter, with eight of those points coming in the final 1 minute and 57 seconds of the period, which ended with Tigard leading 25-14.

Duty connected on seven of her eight short-range shots from the field in the quarter. Sophomore guard Chelsea Biglow had assists on three of Duty's first-quarter buckets. Junior guard Corinn Waltrip had a pair of assists to Duty in the period and Woolard also added an assist.

'We used the triangle offense to our advantage,' Duty said. 'And the guards did a great job.'

Tigard continued its hot play in the second quarter. Duty scored another close-range bank shot, off another assist by Woolard, and Waltrip and senior Heidi Pizer followed with back-to-back baskets to quickly push the lead to 31-14 with 5 minutes and 55 seconds to play in the first half.

Woolard scored five straight points late in the quarter and junior guard Dianni Freeman sank a 19-foot jumper to help Tigard grab a 43-22 halftime lead.

But Tigard had problems keeping up the same offensive pace in the second half.

The homestanding Tigers shot at just a 5-for-18 clip from the field in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Newberg, getting a pair of three-pointers from junior post Cassie Swayze in the period, cut the Tigard lead to 54-36 going into the fourth quarter.

Woolard, however, did give Tigard a spark at the end of the third quarter when she grabbed a rebound and drove the length of the court, putting in a layup just before the buzzer sounded.

'I got the rebound and took off,' Woolard said with a smile.

But Newberg got even closer early in the fourth. The visiting Tigers cut the lead to 54-43 when Swayze went 3-for-3 from the free throw line with 5:19 left to play. But Tigard wouldn't let Newberg get any closer.

Duty scored on a bank shot and a free throw and Waltrip put in a layup to push the margin to 59-43 with 3:34 left in the game.

Waltrip buried a three-pointer and Duty followed with a layup off an assist by Woolard to give Tigard a seemingly-safe 64-45 lead with 1:53 left to play. From there, Tigard cruised to the 70-52 victory.

'I was happy with the effort on offense,' Tigard coach Steve Naylor said. 'But we have to stay more intense in the second half.'

Duty's 27 points, coming on a 13-for-20 shooting night, is a career-high total.

'It's exciting,' she said. 'But I'm more happy about the win.'

Duty also had 11 rebounds and a pair of steals.

Waltrip scored 13 points to go with five assists. Pizer had 12 points, seven rebounds and two steals. Woolard had a strong overall game with nine points, five rebounds and four assists.

Tigard picked up another league victory Tuesday when it scored a 65-36 win at Forest Grove.

Waltrip and Duty each had 18 points in that contest and Pizer scored 13.