Boys basketball: McMinnville pulls away in the second half to score a 64-54 victory
by: DAN BROOD, TOUGH INSIDE — Tualatin sophomore post A.J. Freeman (left) looks to go up to the basket against McMinnville's Warren Lambert in Friday's game.

TUALATIN - For a half, the Tualatin High School boys basketball team seemed to be on top of its game.

In the first two quarters of their game with McMinnville, the Timberwolves committed just one turnover while shooting at a 16-for-30 clip from the field.

But, unfortunately for the Tualatin, it couldn't keep up that efficiency in the second half. Nor could they keep up with Brady Martin.

Martin, a McMinnville senior, scored a game-high 35 points to lead the Grizzlies to a 64-54 win over the Wolves in a Pacific Conference regular-season finale played Friday at Tualatin High School.

'We slowed down in the second half and we lost some intensity,' said Tualatin senior guard Albert Dadson, who led the Wolves with 17 points. 'We broke down on defense and stopped talking.'

With the loss, Tualatin ended the regular season with a final Pacific Conference record of 6-9 and an overall mark of 9-15. McMinnville finished its regular season slate with a league mark of 10-5 and an overall record of 16-8.

The Wolves, who didn't commit a single turnover in the first quarter, held an 18-16 lead at the end of the period. Dadson had a big part in the strong start as he sank a pair of three-pointers in the quarter.

The Tualatin senior guard continued to have the hot hand in the second quarter, scoring nine points in the period, giving him 17 points at halftime.

'It was my last home game,' Dadson said. 'I wanted to play as hard as I could.'

Still, Tualatin couldn't pull away from the Grizzlies, who were paced by the Martin, the team's 6-foot-5 senior forward, who scored 14 points in the second quarter. He got four of those points in the final minute of the first half, giving McMinnville a 34-33 lead with 47 seconds left before the intermission.

The Wolves regained the lead when senior guard Chris Reid scored on a layup off a pass from sophomore post A.J. Freeman, coming with 16 seconds remaining the second quarter. But a buzzer-beating follow-up shot by McMinnville senior Cory Milton gave the Grizzlies a 36-35 advantage at the break.

McMinnville wouldn't trail again the rest of the way. Tualatin made just one of nine shots from the field in the third quarter while committing five turnovers in the period. Meanwhile, Martin scored 10 more points in the quarter, helping the Grizzlies open up a 50-39 lead going into the final stanza.

Martin continued his scoring spree in the fourth quarter. He sank back-to-back baskets to give the Grizzlies their biggest lead of the contest, at 62-46, with 3:32 to play.

Tualatin, behind the play of junior Matt Losli, trimmed the lead to 10 in the final minutes, but they couldn't get any closer as McMinnville notched the 64-54 victory.

'After the Tigard game, we worked on fine-tuning some things on offense. In the first half, we were kind of clicking. What we worked on paid off,' Tualatin coach Rick Osborn said. 'But in the second half, we kind of slipped back into our old habits.'

Losli scored 12 points for Tualatin in the setback. He also had six rebounds and three steals. Junior Austonn Lazloff added six points and junior Dylan Scott scored five.

For the game, Tualatin made 22 of 55 shots from the field and seven of 13 free throws.

Martin scored 30 of his 35 points in the final three quarters of the contest.

'He's tough, and we didn't make things difficult for him,' Osborn said.

Junior Kyle Long added 11 points for the Grizzlies and senior Warren Lambert scored 10 points.

McMinnville made 27 of 49 shots from the field and eight of nine free throw attempts.

Both teams will open the Class 6A state playoffs on Wednesday. Tualatin, the No. 4 team from the Pacific Conference, will play at Three Rivers League runner-up Oregon City. McMinnville, the No. 3 seed out of the Pacific Conference, will host Metro League No. 3 seed Sunset.

'We're looking forward to the playoffs,' Dadson said. 'We need to keep our intensity high the whole game and play as a team.'

For a complete game story, and more photos, see the March 1 issue of the Tigard/Tualatin Times.

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