Coach hopes win over Tigard will boost confidence as Forest Grove eyes return to playoffs

When the Forest Grove High girls basketball team hosted Tigard High last weekend, the Vikings were matched up against an opponent which has not been kind to conference foes. The Vikings, however, were un-phased by the Tigers 29-game Pacific Conference winning streak, which stretched back to 2010.

The game was a battle from the opening whistle. The Vikings had a one point lead after the first quarter and a two point lead at halftime. The Tigers then took a three point lead into the final period. With three minutes to play, Forest Grove trailed by two points. The Vikings fought back, though, and came out on top with a 46-40 victory.

'We knew how to slow them down,' Vikings coach Dan Lumpkin says. 'We had a really good game plan and the girls executed it perfectly from beginning to end. It was a close game the whole way, but it never felt like we weren't in control or we weren't right there the whole time.

The Vikings were led, with eight points each, by Hannah Swanson, Taylor Lira and Hope Fletcher. Jessica Ortman, Karla Broderson and Abby Jensen each added six points.

Four days later, Forest Grove (10-9) had a let-down game after the emotional victory, losing to McMinnville 52-40. But, beating Tigard will be a big confidence builder for the Vikings heading into the last four games of the season.

'It's a huge boost because that right there proves that we can beat anyone in our conference,' Lumpkin says. 'It's a huge, huge win for our confidence.'

Lumpkin says that defeating a perennial Pacific Conference power helped the Vikings finally earn the respect that they have been striving for.

'It shows that we are a good team,' Lumpkin says. 'We've talked all season about the kind of team that we want to be. We want to be considered an upper level team. And beating a team like Tigard gives us that credit.'

The win against Tigard is a moment that has been a long time coming for the Vikings. But, Forest Grove has even bigger things to accomplish before the 2011-2012 season is over.

'We just want to use that (victory over Tigard) to go forward,' Lumpkin says. 'Our eyes are on the playoffs, still. We want to finish out our last four games strong. We'd like to put ourselves in a position to have a home playoff game and make it back to the playoffs.'

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