Tualatin reaches the semifinals at the Interstate Shootout

by: DAN BROOD - NICE MOVE -- Tualatin junior post Savannah Heugly (32) drives past a pair of Hermiston defenders during Saturday's tournament game. LAKE OSWEGO — The Tualatin High School girls basketball team is continuing to work hard.

Now, the Timberwolves say, they just need to work on a few other things to go with all of that hard work.

They certainly seemed to show promise of growth, even as they were edged 39-34 by Hermiston in a Les Schwab Bracket semifinal game of the Nike Interstate Shootout, held Saturday at Lake Oswego High School.

“We played a good first half,” said Tualatin senior guard Britta Hall, who led all scorers with 17 points in Saturday’s game. “In the second half, I think we lost confidence in ourselves. Collectively, we need to build our individual confidence. It will get there.”

Hermiston evened its season record at 5-5 at that point with the victory. Tualatin moved to 4-4 with the setback.

The Timberwolves brought a four-game winning streak into Saturday’s game.

“We work hard and play with a lot of heart,” Hall said in regard to the winning streak.

Tualatin seemed to show that work ethic and desire early in Saturday’s contest.

Hall sank a three-pointer off an assist from junior post Savannah Heugly and she followed with a pair of free throws to give the Wolves a 5-0 lead less than two minutes into the game. Tualatin senior guard Baylee Lyle followed with a basket on a drive to the hoop to up the margin to 7-0 with 5 minutes and 17 seconds left in the first quarter.

Hermiston rallied to take a 10-9 lead on a banker by senior Heidi Walchli coming with 55 seconds left in the quarter. But a pair of free throws by Hall in the final 31.6 seconds of the period gave the Wolves an 11-10 lead at the quarter buzzer.

Hermiston opened the second quarter with a three-point play by junior McKenzie Byrd, giving the Bulldogs a 13-11 advantage.

But Tualatin stormed back with consecutive baskets by Heugly, Hall and junior Lindsay Barrow to take a 17-13 lead with 3:26 left in the period.

The lead went back and forth throughout the rest of the quarter. The Wolves, with Heugly scoring on a follow-up shot with 25 seconds left in the period, tied the game, at 21-21, at halftime.

Tualatin struggled to find its shooting touch in the third quarter. The Wolves made just three of 12 shots from the field in the period, with Barrow having two of those baskets. But, thanks to some strong play on defense, they trailed by just a 31-27 margin going into the fourth quarter.

Hermiston started to pull away in the final stanza. The Bulldogs opened a 39-29 lead after senior Gabby Heehn sank a pair of free throws with 2:34 left to play in the contest.

But the persistent Timberwolves came fighting back. Hall scored on a drive, junior Tessa Bullis added a free throw and Heugly came up with a steal and short-range jumper to make the score 39-34 in the final seconds.

“We gave them a run,” Tualatin coach Casey Bunn said. “The girls worked so hard and give so much effort. They’re scrappy. They get after it on defense. We just need to work on our decision-making.”

Hall led the way for the Wolves in Saturday’s game with 17 points. Heugly had a strong all-around game with six points, nine rebounds, two blocked shots and a pair of steals. Barrow added six points.

Walchli led Hermiston with 13 points.

Tualatin opened the tournament last Thursday with a 57-43 win over McNary in a first-round contest.

Barrow led a balanced Timberwolf scoring attack in the victory with 11 points. Junior post Jasmine Miller added 10 points. Hall had nine and Heugly scored eight.

On Friday, Tualatin rallied to post a 46-36 win over Pacific Conference foe Glencoe in a tourney quarterfinal tilt.

In that game, the Wolves trailed 27-21 at halftime before outscoring Glencoe 25-9 in the second half. Tualatin also outscored the Crimson Tide 14-2 in the decisive fourth quarter of that contest.

Hall scored 21 points in that game, including seven in the fourth quarter. Burris added eight points, including four in the fourth quarter.

On Sunday, an undermanned Tualatin team fell 42-33 to Lebanon in the tourney third-place game. Freshman Emily Leonard paced the Wolves with 11 points in that game. Miller added six.

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