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Timberwolves get after it


Tualatin blasts Forest Grove to move to 2-0 in league play

by: DAN BROOD - SPLITTING THE DEFENSE -- Tualatin junior Lindsay Barrow goes to the basket between Forest Grove's Emilia Anderson (left) and Abby Jensen during Tuesday's game. The Wolves got a 55-35 victory. TUALATIN — The Tualatin High School girls basketball team knows that, frankly, it doesn’t exactly possess intimidating size.

That’s OK with the Timberwolves.

They know how to make up for that — play scrappy, fly all over the place and turn their ball-hawking defense into a fastbreak offensive attack.

That strategy has got Tualatin off to a flying start in Pacific Conference play.

The Wolves moved to 2-0 in league games by running to a 55-35 win over Forest Grove in a Pacific Conference contest played Tuesday at Tualatin High School.

“We’re not tall, but we’re quick,” Tualatin senior guard Baylee Lyle said after the game. “We all work hard and, on defense, we’re scrappy. We just get after it.”

“We know we don’t have the biggest team,” Tualatin junior post Jasmine Miller said. “So we work extra hard. And our defense is our best offense.”

With the loss, Forest Grove fell to 9-3 on the season and to 1-1 in league games. The Tualatin upped its overall record to 6-5 with the win. But, more important to the Wolves, is their 2-0 start in Pacific Conference play.

“That’s really exciting for the girls,” Tualatin coach Casey Bunn said. “They’ve put in all of the hard work and effort.”

“It’s really good,” Lyle said with a smile. “We just had a little party in the locker room.”

“It’s exciting,” Miller said. “I think a lot of people underestimated us.”

Tualatin, behind its pressuring defense, took control very early in Tuesday’s game.

The Vikings, struggling against the Timberwolf defense, missed all nine of their shots from the field and committed 12 turnovers in the first quarter.

Meanwhile, Tualatin, behind seven points from senior guard Britta Hall, and baskets by junior post Savannah Heugly and junior guard Tessa Bullis, claimed a 13-1 lead at the end of the opening period.by: DAN BROOD - TOP SCORER -- Tualatin senior Britta Hall scored 20 points in the victory over Forest Grove.

Forest Grove got a pair of free throws by junior Kaitlin Jamieson and a basket on a drive by senior Abby Jensen to start the second quarter, trimming the Tualatin lead to 13-5, but the Vikings wouldn’t get any closer than that the rest of the way.

Miller answered with a follow-up basket and Hall drilled a three-pointer from the left corner off an assist from senior Mikayla Ngo to quickly push the margin to 18-5, with 5 minutes and 50 seconds left in the period.

Timberwolf sophomore post Alyssa Knudsen scored three points late in the quarter and sophomore guard Madison Hall went 2-for-2 from the free throw line with 13 seconds left in the period to help Tualatin claim a 23-10 halftime lead.

Forest Grove got back-to-back baskets from juniors Mary Hutchins and Madi Andresen to open the third quarter, cutting the lead to 23-14.

Tualatin pushed its lead back to double digits, at 25-14, on a pair of free throws by Britta Hall with 6:53 left in the quarter.

Lyle took over from there.

The senior, who suffers from plantar fasciitis, scored eight points in a time span of 2:34 to up the Tualatin lead to 33-15 with 3:37 left in the period.

“I was mad that I had zero points in the first half,” Lyle said.

Lyle started her scoring spree with a follow-up basket. She then had a steal and layup. She followed that up with a layup off a long pass from Heugly and then she went 2-for-2 from the free-throw line after she was fouled going up on another follow-up shot.

In the third quarter alone, Lyle had eight points, four rebounds and three steals.

Miller added a follow-up basket of her own late in the period to help Tualatin take a 40-21 lead into the fourth quarter.

Britta Hall and freshman Abbey Anderson each sank a three-pointer in the fourth quarter and sophomore Nicole Miller had a pair of hoops in the period to help Tualatin close out the 55-35 victory.

“That was a good win,” Bunn said. “The girls work really hard and they complete against each other in practice. We’ve been teaching them to be aggressive on defense, and our defense is our best offense — we’ve seen the results of that.”

That aggressive Tualatin defense helped force Forest Grove into 40 turnovers.

Britta Hall led all scorers in the contest with 20 points. She also had six steals.

Lyle scored eight points and Jasmine Miller had six points to go with two steals and a team-high eight rebounds.

“They’re bigger, so I knew it was important to get to the boards,” Miller said. “That was one of my focuses tonight.”

Heugly had four points and four steals.

Hutchins led Forest Grove with nine points.

Prior to the win over Forest Grove, Tualatin posted a 61-41 win over McMinnville in a league opener played Friday at Tualatin High School.

Britta Hall scored 18 points in that game. Heugly had 12 and Jasmine Miller added 10.

The Wolves will be back in action Friday when they play at rival Tigard in a league game set to start at 5:45 p.m. The winner of that game will claim sole possession of the early season lead in the Pacific Conference.

“I’m excited after last year (when the teams split their two games),” Miller said. “They want blood and we want blood.”

“We’ll prepare and be ready,” Bunn said.

On Tuesday, Tualatin will play at Newberg at 7:15 p.m.