Boys basketball: A last-second Tigard shot is just off the mark in the 50-47 loss to the Cougars
by: DAN BROOD, K.C. TO THE HOOP — Tigard senior post K.C. Wiser goes up strong to the basket in Friday’s game.

TIGARD - So close.

Just an inch, maybe less.

That possibly could be how close the Tigard High School boys basketball team came to having a chance to knock off Pacific Conference powerhouse Canby.

The Tigers fell 50-47 to the Cougars in a wild, back-and-forth game played Friday at Tigard High School. The contest wasn't decided until Tigard senior point guard Josh Harbolt's last-second jump shot rolled off the rim.

'I thought it was going in,' Harbolt said after the game. 'Sometimes just a quarter of an inch can make the difference.'

With the win, No. 4 ranked Canby improved to 13-0 in Pacific Conference play (18-5 overall) and the Cougars also clinched sole possession of the league championship. Tigard fell to 9-4 in league play and top 15-8 on the season with the setback.

'I thought we were going to get them,' Tigard senior post K.C. Wiser said. 'It's the best we've played them, but we're upset we didn't get them.'

Tigard, in Friday's game, started strong and grabbed a 19-11 lead at the end of the first quarter behind 10 points by Wiser.

Tigard continued to hold the lead in the second quarter. Junior Kyle Figura scored on a drive to give the Tigers a 25-18 advantage with 4 minutes and 15 seconds left in the period.

But Canby, with junior guard Michael Stogsdill scoring back-to-back baskets, rallied to cut the lead to 27-26 at halftime.

Clint Chapman, Canby's 6-foot-11 senior post, took over in the third quarter. He scored nine points in the period, helping the Cougars open up a 39-34 lead going into the final stanza.

Canby pushed the lead to 45-36 on a layup by Cody Hickey coming with 4:52 to play.

But Tigard came storming back. Wiser sank a free throw and scored on a baseline drive and Harbolt scored four straight points to trim the margin to 45-43 with 2:25 remaining.

Canby then spread the court and upped the lead to 47-43 on a pair of free throws by junior Jake Fowler with 1:04 to play. Tigard junior Ryan Gorton countered with a pair of free throws, getting the Tigers back within two points with less than a minute left.

Chapman gave Canby a four-point cushion again when he scored on a layup off an ally-oop pass with 36 seconds to play.

But the Tigers wouldn't go away quietly. Harbolt sank a pair of free throws with 18.4 seconds led to make the score 49-47. Tigard sophomore guard Kyle Gustafson then came up with a backcourt steal with 14 seconds left.

After a time out, Tigard set up a play for Harbolt, but his last-second jumper rolled off the rim. Chapman grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 0.7 seconds left. He made one of his two ensuing free throw attempts to make the final score 50-47.

'This shows we can play with anyone,' Wiser said. 'Everyone stepped up tonight. Matt Alexander, Kyle Figura and Kyle Gustafson all played great.'

'Those three guys are the reason we had a chance to win,' Harbolt said. 'They stepped up and played with a lot of heart.'

Figura was Tigard's top scorer in the contest with 17 points. Wiser scored 15 and Harbolt added 11. Chapman led all scorers with 20 points. Stogsdill added 11 for the Cougars.

Tigard will now try to wrap up second place in the league standings. The Tigers are tied with McMinnville, which bested Forest Grove 66-52 on Friday, for second place.

Tigard, however, holds the tie-breaker over the Grizzlies as it won two of the teams' three games this season.

'We need to wrap up second place so we can get two home games (in the state playoffs),' Harbolt said.

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