Timberwolves rally to win at Canby

Girls basketball: Halftime team meeting leads to Tualatin's strong second half comeback
by: DAN BROOD, STRONG IN THE POST — Tualatin High School sophomore Julie Arndorfer looks to go up to the basket against Canby’s Alena Evans during Tuesday’s game.

CANBY - It was halftime, and the Timberwolves weren't very happy at all.

They made just nine of 36 shots from the field in the first half and they found themselves facing a 10-point deficit against a powerful Canby team.

No they weren't very happy at all - and they decided to do something about it.

Members of the Tualatin High School girls basketball team held an impromptu players-only meeting before the second half began.

Whatever was said in that meeting worked wonders as, in the second half, the Wolves quickly erased that 10-point deficit and went on to score a 66-57 win over the Cougars in the Pacific Conference game played Tuesday at Canby High School.

'In the meeting, we just said that we didn't want to drop another one,' Tualatin senior Janelle Cromie said after the game. 'We just really wanted it.'

'We finally came together,' Tualatin senior Danielle Roisom said. 'It was just heart - a lot of heart.'

With the win, Tualatin, which lost to Canby in the teams' first meeting this season, moved to 6-2 in league play (12-5 overall), putting the Wolves alone in second place in the league standings. Canby fell to 5-3 in league play and to 11-6 on the season.

'This was a real big win,' Cromie said.

And it took a big second half for Tualatin to get that big win.

Trailing 38-28 to start the third quarter, the Wolves quickly turned things around in a big way as they scored 13 unanswered points to start the second half.

Cromie got things started with a three-pointer from the top of the circle. Baskets by sophomore Kelsey Allred and Roisom, and another hoop by Cromie got the Wolves within one, at 38-37, with just over two minutes elapsed in the third quarter.

A free throw by Timberwolf sophomore post Aly Brown tied the game with 5:08 to play in the third. The Wolves then took their first lead of the game, at 38-37, on a free throw by Cromie.

The Wolves kept going from there. They went up 41-38 when Brown sank a short-range bank shot off an assist from sophomore Meaghan Cichoke and they led 47-42 when Roisom put in a layup with 1:08 left in the quarter.

But the Cougars ended the period on a 5-0 run, tying the game at 47-47 going into the fourth quarter.

Tualatin junior post Kelly Millager started the fourth quarter with a steal and layup and Timberwolf junir guard Madeline Houston followed with a basket on a drive to the hoop to give the Wolves a 51-47 lead with 7:23 left in the game. Tualatin wouldn't trail, nor be tied by the Cougars the rest of the way.

Canby trailed by just two, at 55-53, with 4:18 to play, but the Wolves took off from there. Tualatin sophomore Julie Arndorfer, fouled on consecutive possessions, went 3-for-4 from the foul line to give the Wolves a 58-53 advantage with 3:03 to play. A steal and layup by Roisom and another basket by Houston upped the Tualatin lead to 62-53 with 2:19 remaining.

Roisom and Houston each sank a pair of free throws in the final minutes to cap off the 66-57 come-from-behind victory.

'That's what we've been waiting to see,' Tualatin coach Todd Jukkala said. 'We had a high level of intensity and aggressiveness in the second half. And the kids played with a lot of guts and heart. I think it all came down to guts and heart.'

Tualatin, after its ice-cold first half, made 14 of 26 shots from the field in the second half. The Wolves also outrebounded Canby 22-9 in the second half.

'We kept with it and stuck to our guns,' Cromie said. 'Things started falling our way.'

Cromie helped spark the second half rally. After going scoreless in the first half, the senior post had six points, four rebounds and a steal in the second half.

'I was mad at myself for how I played in the first half,' she said.

Houston led Tualatin with 16 points. She scored eight points in the first quarter to help keep the Wolves somewhat close.

Roisom had 12 points, 11 rebounds and three steals. Allred scored 11 points and Arndorfer had seven. Senior post Julianne Erbe led Canby with 19 points. Senior Katie Martin added 11.

Prior to the win at Canby, the Wolves scored a 63-28 home win over McMinnville in a game played Friday. Cromie led the Wolves with 14 points. Arndorfer scored 12 and Millager had 11.