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Tigard bests Wolves in OT€s<caron> again

The Tigers edge Tualatin by 2 for the second time


by: DAN BROOD - PASS FROM THE POST -- Tigard senior Megan Risinger passes the ball to the outside during Friday's game. Risinger scored 18 points in the Tigers' 46-44 overtime victory. TUALATIN — Déja  vu.

Sometimes it can be a really good thing.

Sometimes, it can sure sting.

Just ask the Tigard and Tualatin high school girls basketball teams.

On Friday, the rival Tigers and Timberwolves battled to overtime for the second time this season.

And, for the second time, Tigard came away with a two-point victory.

The Tigers, who scored a 50-48 overtime home win over Tualatin back on Jan. 11, made it a season sweep over the rival Timberwolves by getting a 46-44 victory in a hard-fought overtime back-and-forth battle played Friday at Tualatin High School.

“It’s always like that when we play them — it’s always a big game,” Tigard junior guard Lexi Carter said after the contest. “Luckily, we pulled it out again.”

“You never know what’s going to happen,” said Tigard senior post Megan Risinger, who scored a team-high 18 points. “It’s a rivalry game, and it’s always big. Both teams played their hearts out. I’m so glad we came together as a team.”

“We wanted it bad,” said Tualatin senior guard Britta Hall, who led all scorers with 19 points. “But things happen for a reason.”

With the setback, the Wolves moved to 6-3 in Pacific Conference play at that point (10-8 overall), putting in a tie with Glencoe for second place in the league standings.by: DAN BROOD - TAKING OFF -- Tualatin junior Lindsay Barrow drives and goes up to the basket during Friday's game with Tigard. The Tigers won in overtime.

“I don’t feel like we played to our potential,” Hall said. “But this gives us hope. I’m proud of our team. I think it will help us build confidence.”

Tigard improved to 9-0 in Pacific Conference games (16-3 overall), giving the Tigers a three-game lead at that point, with five games to play in the race for the league championship.

“That was our first goal,” Risinger said of the league title. “We’ve got a tradition going here of winning the league championship, and we don’t want to be the team that doesn’t win it.”

“It’s very important to us,” said Carter, who was part of last year’s Tigard team that shared the league championship with Glencoe. “If we get it all to ourselves this year, that’s even better.”

Tigard looks to be firmly entrenched in the driver’s seat in the race for the league title following Friday’s win, but getting that key victory was anything but easy.

In fact, the Tigers faced adversity right from the start, as Risinger was whistled for her second personal foul less than a minute into the game. As she sat down on the Tigard bench, Risinger slammed a water bottle to the floor.

“I never do that,” she said with a smile. “But I was frustrated.”

With Risinger on the bench, the Tigers got a spark from senior post Julia Santos, who came off the bench to score a pair of baskets, helping Tigard claim a 7-5 lead at the end of the opening period.

Tualatin came out strong to start the second quarter. Sophomore Madison Hall sank a three-pointer from the right corner to start the quarter and Britta Hall followed with a 10-foot jumper to give the Wolves a 10-9 lead with 6 minutes and 37 seconds left before halftime.

Tigard answered right back. The Tigers got consecutive baskets by junior Emilee Cincotta, Risinger and Carter to jump out to a 15-10 lead.

Tualatin came back later in the period, taking a 20-19 advantage on a three-pointer by Britta Hall coming with 1:14 left before halftime.by: DAN BROOD - TIGHT DEFENSE -- Tigard junior Lexi Carter (left) keeps the pressure on Tualatin's Tessa Bullis in Friday's game.

Cincotta answered with a three-pointer for the Tigers and Britta Hall scored on a last-second drive to the basket, leaving the rivals tied at 22-22 at the intermission.

The lead changed hands four times in the third quarter. The Tigers, getting late baskets by freshman post Emily Conroy and senior post Meeka Mayhew, took a 33-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

That’s when things really got interesting.

Risinger scored on a follow-up shot to start the final stanza, giving Tigard a 35-32 advantage. The Tiger lead was still at three, at 36-33, after Carter went 1-for-2 from the foul line with 4:47 left in the game.

The Wolves came storming back at that point. Tualatin junior post Jasmine Miller scored on a layup off an assist from junior Savannah Heugly and then Miller added another basket on a drive to the hoop, giving the Wolves a 37-36 lead with 3:31 remaining in regulation.

Tigard then tied the game, at 37-37, when Santos went 1-for-2 at the stripe with 3:12 left to play.

Tualatin regained the lead on a jumper by Heugly, but Tigard quickly tied things up again, at 39-39, when Risinger converted a pair of foul shots with 2:40 left to play.

Carter and Tualatin junior Lindsay Barrow traded foul shots to keep the score tied, at 40-40, going into the final minute of play.

Santos came up with a steal with 42 seconds left, giving the Tigers a chance to set up a game-winning shot. But Risinger’s attempt on a drive to the basket with six seconds to play bounced off the rim. Tualatin had one last shot, but Britta Hall’s desperation 30-footer was just off the mark, sending the contest to overtime.

Tigard struck first in the four-minute extra session, taking a 42-40 lead on a drive by Risinger. Tualatin got a free throw by Barrow to trim the margin to 42-41 with 2:10 remaining.

The Tigers carried their one-point lead into the final minute of play.

Risinger went 1-for-2 from the foul line to up the margin to 43-41. Then, following an offensive rebound by Santos, Carter went 1-for-2 at the stripe to up the lead to 44-41 with 33.1 seconds left. Carter was then fouled again after getting a defensive rebound. She made one of her two ensuing free throws to make the score 45-41 with just 17.3 seconds left to play.

Tualatin, never giving up, got a long three-point basket by Britta Hall to close the gap to 45-44 with three seconds remaining. But Risinger was fouled with less than a second left to play and she made one of her two free throws to cap off the 46-44 Tiger victory.

“It was never in doubt,” Carter said with a smile. “We just had to keep playing hard.”

“That was a great game,” Risinger said. “Their whole team played so hard and Britta was amazing. I really wanted this game, and I knew we could do it. At the end of the game, it was so great.”

Risinger, despite missing most of the first half due to foul trouble, paced the Tigers with 18 points on a 6-for-10 shooting night from the field. She also pulled down eight rebounds.

Carter added nine points for the Tigers. Cincotta added seven points to go with three steals. They both also had to deal will foul troubles during the contest.

“Emilee and Lexi both played very, very smart,” Risinger said.

Santos scored eight points in addition to coming up with some clutch defensive plays.

“That girl played her butt off,” Risinger said.

“She played great with her drives and rebounds,” Carter said. “I’m really proud of her.”

Tigard, as a team, made 16 of 39 shots from the field, but the team really struggled from the free-throw line, shooting 13-for-33 from the stripe.

Britta Hall scored 19 points to lead all scorers. She also had six rebounds and three three-point baskets.

“At times tonight, we played like a unit, but at other times we played like five individuals,” she said. “We just need to play together more. I think this game will really help us get ready for the playoffs.”

Miller added nine points and five rebounds for the Wolves. Heugly had six points to go with eight rebounds and a pair of steals. Barrow also scored six points.

Tualatin made 15 of 45 shots from the field and 10 of 22 free throws.

Tigard picked up another win on Tuesday as it posted a 50-16 victory at McMinnville. Risinger scored 25 points in that game and Carter had 15.

Tualatin was scheduled to host Newberg on Wednesday. Results of that game weren’t available when The Times went to press.

Both local squads will be back in action on Friday. Tigard will host Newberg in a league game starting at 5:45 p.m. Tualatin will travel to McMinnville for a 5:45 p.m. league contest.

On Tuesday, Tualatin will host Century and Tigard will travel to Hillsboro in 7:15 p.m. league games.




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