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Tiger girls wrap up league crown

Tigard is still looking to get better as the playoffs approach


by: DAN BROOD - FAST BREAK -- Tigard junior Emilee Cincotta goes up to the basket after getting a steal in the Tigers' win over Newberg.TIGARD — It’s official.

The Tigard High School girls basketball team, after scoring wins over Newberg and Hillsboro, is the Pacific Conference champion. And, this year, the Tigers don’t have to share the crown with anyone else.

They’re pretty happy about that.

But they’re not satisfied.

The Tigers say they know they have to keep on working hard, and keep on improving, if they want to reach their ultimate goal.

“We want to get to the Rose Garden,” Tigard junior guard Emilee Cincotta said, in regard to the site of the Class 6A state tournament, following the Tigers’ 54-32 win over Newberg in a league game played Friday at Tigard High School. “We know we have to get ready for the playoffs.”

“(Tigard coach Steve) Naylor is pushing us to be better every day,” Tigard senior post Julia Santos added. “We need to keep working hard and get ready to play some quality teams.”

Tigard, with the win over Newberg, coupled with a 54-16 road victory against Hillsboro on Tuesday, moved to 12-0 in Pacific Conference play and to 19-3 on the season.

The 12-0 league record gives the Tigers, who shared the league championship with Glencoe last year, a three-game lead over both Glencoe and Tualatin with just two games to play.

“The league title is very important to us,” Santos said. “And to have it for ourselves this year shows just how much we wanted it. It’s awesome.”

“The league title is a big thing for us,” Naylor said. “But we still have things to work on. We still need to get better.”

The Tigers might have trouble convincing Newberg of that.

Tigard jumped out to a fast start against the visiting Tigers.

Tigard ended the first quarter on a 12-0 run — which included seven straight points by senior post Megan Risinger as well as a steal and layup by Cincotta — to claim a 14-3 lead at the end of the opening period.

“We came out focused at the beginning,” Naylor said. “We played well on offense and defense.”

Tigard kept rolling in the second quarter. A free throw by Risinger gave the homestanding Tigers a 20-6 lead with 5 minutes and 7 seconds left in the period.

Tigard junior guard Lexi Carter then scored six points in a span of 1:46 to up the margin to 26-8 with 2:55 remaining in the half.

Newberg, getting a three-pointer by senior Abbie Woginrich and baskets by juniors Hannah Green and Hannah Hetzler, trimmed the margin to 28-15 at the intermission.

But Tigard quickly regained momentum early in the third quarter.

Freshman post Elise Conroy started the period with a bank shot off an assist from Risinger.

Soon after, Carter had back-to-back hoops and Risinger connected on a three-pointer to up the margin to 37-17 with 3:43 left in the quarter.

Another three-pointer by Risinger later in the period helped Tigard take a 41-24 lead into the fourth quarter.

Carter scored six points in the first 2:55 of the final stanza to up the margin to 47-27. Tigard junior Courtney Roshak followed with a three-point basket and Cincotta converted a three-point play to give the home team a 53-27 lead with 2:53 left in the contest.

From there, Tigard cruised to the 54-32 victory.

“They beat Tualatin earlier, so we knew they were good,” Cincotta said. “So we wanted to jump on them early.”

“We just came out with a lot of energy,” Santos said. “And we want to beat everyone.”

Carter led all scorers in the contest with 20 points on an 8-for-14 shooting night from the field. She also had five rebounds and a pair of steals.

Risinger sank three three-point baskets on her way to scoring 16 points. Cincotta had eight points to go with five steals and a pair of assists.

Tigard, as a team, was efficient in the win, making 20 for 38 shots from the field.

And, as usual, Tigard shined on defense. The Tigers helped force Newberg into a 13-for-31 shooting night as well as 22 turnovers.

Besides the efficient offense and the stifling defense, Santos says there’s another key to Tigard’s success.

“We all love each other,” she said with a smile.

Risinger led the way for Tigard in Tuesday’s victory at Hillsboro with 19 points. Cincotta added 14 points, Carter had eight and Santos scored six.

Tigard will be back in action Friday when it plays at Forest Grove in a league game starting at 5:45 p.m. The Tigers will finish their Pacific Conference schedule Tuesday when they host Century in a game starting at 5:45 p.m. at Tigard High School.



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