The Tigers open Pacific Conference play with 50-19 win over Newberg

by: DAN BROOD - GLIDING -- Tigard High School junior guard Lexi Carter (5) gets past Newberg's Abbie Woginrich and goes up to the basket in Friday's game. NEWBERG — The Pacific Conference championship.

It means a lot to the Tigard High School girls basketball squad. In fact, it’s one of the team’s main goals for the season.

And, on Friday, the Tigers took what they hope is their first step toward winning the league crown as they rolled to a 50-19 win over Newberg in a Pacific Conference opener played at Newberg High School.

“It’s our No. 1 goal,” said Tigard senior Megan Risinger, who had a double-double in the victory with 13 points and 11 rebounds. “We really want to win league. It’s a tradition. We want to do that and then take the next step.”

“Right now, that’s our main focus — we want to win league,” said Tigard junior guard Lexi Carter, who led all scorers with 18 points. “We’re going to take it one game at a time.”

“One of our goals is to win league,” Tigard coach Steve Naylor said. “But, for us, it’s all about effort. We want to play 32 minutes of hardnosed basketball. That’s our goal.”

Newberg fell to 4-5 on the season at that point with the setback. Tigard, with the win, improved to 8-3 on the season.

And, in their league-opening victory, the Tigers, as they have done throughout the season, relied on their stifling defense. Tigard’s smothering zone defense helped force Newberg into an 8-for-35 shooting night from the field as well as 26 turnovers.

“We’ve been focusing on defense and rebounding,” Carter said. “And our defense creates offense.”by: DAN BROOD - STRONG INSIDE -- Tigard senior Julia Santos looks to go up to the basket agaist Newberg's Abbie Woginrich.

“We know our offense will come around,” Risinger said. “Defense and getting steals is a huge part of our game.”

It didn’t take Tigard’s defense long to make a statement in Friday’s game.

Newberg took a 2-0 lead on a 19-foot jumper by senior Amanda Steele coming just 40 seconds into the contest. But the homestanding Tigers, going up against the Tigard defense, wasn’t able to score again in the first quarter.

Carter answered the early Newberg bucket with a steal and layup and she followed that up with a foul-line jumper to give Tigard a 4-2 lead. And the visiting Tigers didn’t trail the rest of the way.

Carter sank a bank shot and junior guard Emilee Cincotta went 1-for-2 from the foul line to give Tigard a 7-2 lead with 1:49 left in the opening quarter.

Carter then drilled an 18-foot jump shot and then followed that up with a steal and pull-up 14-foot jumper to give her 10 points in the period and give Tigard an 11-2 lead going into the second quarter.

The visiting Tigers kept rolling in the second quarter. A pair of baskets by senior post Julia Santos, a follow-up hoop by Risinger and a free throw by Cincotta gave Tigard an 18-2 advantage with 3:22 left in the period.

Meanwhile, Tigard held the home team scoreless for a time span of 12:23 before Newberg senior Julia Hamilton sank a foul-line jumper with 3:07 left in the quarter. But Newberg wouldn’t be able to score again in the period.

Tigard, getting two more baskets from Risinger, a bank shot by freshman post Elise Conroy and a free throw by Cincotta, upped its lead to 25-4 at halftime.

Carter, Cincotta and Conroy each had basket in the third quarter, which ended with Tigard holding a 32-14 lead.

Risinger scored seven points in the fourth quarter and Carter added six in the final stanza as the visiting Tigers closed out their 50-19 victory.

“That was a good team win,” Carter said. “Everyone got after it. We’re having a lot of fun out there. We’ve got real good team chemistry.”

“This was a good night,” Risinger said. “Our defense was big. We feed off that as a team. And we always want to get a certain amount of fastbreak points.”

Carter, in addition to her game-high 18 points, also had five steals, four rebounds and three assists. Risinger added four steals to go with her 13 points and 11 boards.

Cincotta had six points, five rebounds and four steals. Santos and Conroy each scored four points and senior post Meeka Mayher had four steals and two assists.

Tigard, as a team, made 21 of 40 shots from the field.

Hamilton scored four points to lead Newberg.

On Tuesday, Tigard picked up another key lead win as it posted a 29-20 victory at Glencoe.

Carter paced Tigard with 16 points in the victory. Cincotta scored seven points and Risinger had four.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they host rival Tualatin in a league game starting at 5:45 p.m. at Tigard High School. The winner of that game will claim sole possession of first place in the Pacific Conference standings.

On Tuesday, Tigard will be home to play McMinnville at 7:15 p.m.

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