Tualatin scores 33 fourth-quarter points it its 104-98 win over Century

by: DAN BROOD - TRAPPED -- Tualatin High School seniors C.J. Michael (30) and Junior Okon keep the pressure on Century senior Brad Bennett during the fourth quarter of Tuesday's game. The Timberwolves rallied to score a 104-98 victory. TUALATIN — They never stopped battling.

They never stopped shooting.

They never stopped pressing.

And they never, ever stopped running.

All of that battling, shooting, pressing and running led the Timberwolves to big victory.

The Tualatin High School boys basketball team, with its up-tempo, running wild style of play, rallied time and time again on its way to posting a 104-98 win over Century in a crazy Pacific Conference game played Tuesday at Tualatin High School.

“That was really fun,” said Tualatin sophomore post Jacob Bennett, who turned in a strong overall performance with 14 points, nine rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots. “We knew coming in that, if we won this game, it would put us in a good position in league. We fought, and fought, and did our thing.”

“It was great — just awesome,” said Tualatin senior C.J. Michael, who topped the Wolves with 20 points. “We looked at this as a must-win game, and we knew it would be a battle.”

Century, the defending Pacific Conference champion, fell to 10-6 on the season and to 4-2 in league games with the setback. Tualatin upped its season mark to 10-5 while moving to 5-1 in Pacific Conference play, putting the Wolves alone in second place in the league standings, a game behind pace-setting Tigard.

“We knew we needed to win this game to get where we wanted to be in league,” Michaels said.

“This was a good win,” Tualatin coach Rick Osborn said. “We have to figure out how to play against a physical team, and I’m hoping this was a step in the right direction.”

Tualatin had to fight from behind right from the start of Tuesday’s game, as Century, behind the play of 6-foot-8 senior post Austin Flues grabbed the early advantage. Flues scored 10 points in the opening 4 minutes and 37 seconds of the contest — slamming down three dunks in the process — to help the Jaguars take leads of 17-8 and 19-10.

But senior Randall Tainer helped keep the Wolves close. His third three-pointer of the opening period, coming with 12 seconds showing on the clock, cut the Century lead to 31-25 going into the second quarter.

The Jaguars started to pull away again at that point. They opened a 41-30 lead following a pair of free throws by senior Sam Riddle coming with 6:00 left in the period.

Tualatin answered with a 10-0 run that included a pair of three-pointers by Bennett and a pair of baskets by senior guard Jon Fishback.

The Wolves would take their first lead of the game, at 52-51, when Michael went 2-for-2 from the foul line with 42.6 seconds left in the half. Tualatin would go on to take a 54-53 lead to the break.

by: DAN BROOD - BIG WIN -- Tualatin senior C.J. Michael celebrates with his Timberwolf teammates and fans following the 104-98 win over Century.But Tualatin came out ice cold to start the second half. The Wolves missed their first 13 shots from the field to start the third quarter, all coming in a flurry of attempts in the first 2:30 of the period, allowing Century to grab a 63-54 lead.

The Jaguars kept the lead throughout the period, and they took a 78-71 advantage to the fourth quarter.

The Wolves came out storming to start the final stanza. Three-pointers by Bennett and Jon Fishback and a steal and layup by junior Joey Fishback tied the contest at 79-79 with 6:18 left to play in the game.

From there, the lead changed hands seven times over the next four minutes of play.

Tualatin took the lead for good, at 98-96, when Bennett sank a three-pointer with 1:59 left in the game. It was the sophomore’s second three-pointer in the crucial fourth quarter and his fourth of the game.

“It was adrenaline,” Bennett said. “Sometimes I get in a zone and don’t know what’s going on around me.”

The Wolves pushed the lead to 100-96 when Michael put in a short-range banker off a pass from Bennett with 1:34 remaining. Then, following a steal by senior Connor Scott, Tualatin junior Taylor Boos went 1-for-2 from the foul line to up the margin to 101-96 with 43.6 seconds remaining.

Scott then came up with another steal, leaping to grab a backcourt pass and calling time out before he landed out of bounds. The key defensive play led to a free throw by Scott, which upped the margin to 102-96 with 26.3 seconds remaining.

Jon Fishback then went 2-for-2 from the free throw line with 19.6 seconds left to help wrap up the 104-98 victory.

“We kept running,” Bennett said, in regard to the key to the victory.

“We got them tired,” Michael said. “We love it when the other team has their hands on their knees.”

“The kids did a good job keeping the pace up,” Osborn said. “We attacked earlier in the offense and got a lot of shots.”

They sure did.

The Wolves, who now have scored more than 100 points in four games this season, took 83 shots from the field in the 32-minute game. They made 33 of those shots, with 14 baskets coming from three-point range. Tainer led the long-range barrage with five three-point baskets. Bennett had four while Boos and sophomore Karter Cook each had two.

Michael led six Tualatin players in double figures with 20 points. He also pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds. Tainer scored 19 points. Scott had 15 points and three assists. He scored 10 of his points in the fourth quarter, going 8-for-9 from the free throw line in the period. Bennett had his 14 points. Jon Fishback and Boos each added 11.

Flues and Riddle each scored 20 points to lead Century.

Prior to the win over the Jaguars, Tualatin scored a 76-51 home win over Hillsboro on Friday. Scott scored 24 points in that victory. Michael added 17 and Tainer had 12.

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