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Child scores 38 in Tualatin victory

Girls Basketball: The Wolves notch a win over Tigard, which hosts a playoff game Tuesday
by: DAN BROOD, BIG NIGHT — Tualatin senior Sam Child (left) goes up for two of her 38 points in the Wolves’ win over Tigard.

TUALATIN - It was likely Sam Child's final game against Tigard.

And the Tualatin High School senior made it a big one - no, make that a huge one.

Child, a 6-foot wing, set a new Tualatin girls basketball single-game scoring record as she poured in 38 points in the Timberwolves' 83-60 win over the Tigers in a Pacific Conference game played Tuesday at Tualatin High School.

'I couldn't have done that without my teammates,' said Child, who will play for the University of San Diego next year. 'I didn't even know I had it (the record) until I came out of the game, so that was exciting.'

With the victory, Tualatin, which had already wrapped up the Pacific Conference championship, improved to 14-0 in league play while moving to 21-2 on the season.

Tigard, which is locked into the No. 2 spot in the league standings, fell to 10-4 in Pacific Conference games ant to 17-6 on the season with the setback.

'We played OK at times tonight, but there was just too much Sam Child,' Tigard coach Steve Naylor said. 'The University of San Diego got an absolute steal when they signed her.'

Child, who scored 34 of her points over the final three quarters of play, shot at a 14-for-29 clip (she went 12 for 19 following a 2-for-10 first quarter) from the field with a pair of three-point baskets. She also had seven rebounds, five steals, two assists and a blocked shot in the victory, where she also eclipsed the school's single-season scoring record.

'She started off a little rough, but she stayed active,' Tualatin coach Todd Jukkala said. 'She got open and people found her. She's a very good player and I'm glad she's on our side.'

Child, after her slow start, was able to score in bunches over the final three quarters. She scored seven points over a stretch of 1 minute and 2 seconds in the second quarter. She tallied nine points in a span of 1:16 in the third quarter and she scored seven points in 53 seconds early in the fourth quarter.

'The last player I saw do something like that was Jillian Harmon,' Naylor said in regard to the former Lakeridge standout who was a three-time state player of the year.

Tigard, getting strong play from juniors Heidi Pizer and Sarah Rehm and from sophomore Corinn Waltrip, grabbed a 17-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Senior Jen Gruss, who set a new school single-season three-point basket record (with a season total of 52) in the game, kept the Wolves close, scoring 10 points - sinking a pair of three-point baskets in the process - in the opening period.

'Jen was big for us early on,' Jukkala said.

With Child and junior post Janelle Cromie leading the way, Tualatin was able to take the lead and pull away in the second quarter to grab a 44-29 halftime lead. Child had 10 points in the period while Cromie, who sank a pair of three-pointers, added eight.

'Janelle played great tonight,' Jukkala said. 'She did a good job on the boards and hit those three-pointers as well.'

Waltrip tried to keep the Tigers close as she scored 12 points in the third quarter, but Tualatin took a 62-47 lead into the final stanza and from there ran to the 83-60 victory.

'We had a rough start,' Child said. 'We were a little nervous with it being Tigard, and Senior Night and all. But after we got over those early-game jitters we were fine. We just came out and played our game.'

Gruss added 14 points for Tualatin, Cromie scored 10 and sophomore post Kelly Millager had eight.

Waltrip led the way for Tigard with 18 points. She also had four rebounds and four assists. Junior post Brittany Duty had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Tigers. Pizer had 11 points to go with eight rebounds.

The Tigers finish their regular season schedule with a home game against Newberg (starting at 7:15 p.m.) on Friday. But, more important for Tigard, it starts the Class 6A state playoffs Tuesday with a home game against the No. 4 team from the Three Rivers League - likely West Linn, Clackamas or Lakeridge.

'The big thing we're focusing on is getting ready for Tuesday,' Naylor said. 'That's the important thing.'

Tualatin, which will receive a first-round state playoff bye, will look to wrap up a perfect Pacific Conference season when it plays at McMinnville Friday at 7:15 p.m.

'Going unbeaten in league is one of our goals,' Child said. 'We can't overlook McMinnville, but we're also getting ready for the playoffs.'