Tualatin clinches a state playoff bid with win over Century

by: DAN BROOD - DOUBLE TEAMED -- Tualatin senior Britta Hall (left) and junior Jasmine Miller trap Century freshman guard Jade Bevandich during the second half of Tuesday's game. The Timberwolves won 70-51. TUALATIN — The Tualatin High School girls basketball team may not have played four quarters of flawless basketball.

But Tualatin’s two dominating quarters of action was good enough to get it an impressive victory.

The Timberwolves, getting off to a blazing start and then pulling away again in the third quarter, rolled to a 70-51 win over Century in a Pacific Conference game played Tuesday at Tualatin High School.

“I think we played four good minutes and we didn’t play well for 12 minutes in the first half,” said Tualatin senior guard Britta Hall, who led all scorers in the contest with 24 points. “But, in the second half, we really stepped it up. We got fired up at halftime.”

“We had a good first quarter, but, in the second quarter, we kind of rolled over,” Tualatin junior post Jasmine Miller said. “At halftime (Tualatin coach) Casey (Bunn) gave us two options. She said we could come out and roll over in the second half, or we could come out, play hard and play our game. We chose the second option.”

Century dropped to 2-10 in league play and to 8-14 on the season with the setback. Tualatin improved to 9-3 in Pacific Conference games (13-8 on the season), putting the Wolves in a tie with Glencoe for second place in the league standings. The victory also clinches an automatic bid to the Class 6A state playoffs for Tualatin.

“Any win is a good win,” Miller said. “And we were able to fix some things.”

Both teams struggled in the opening minutes of Tuesday’s game, with Century taking a 3-2 lead after junior Allie Kenfield sank a free throw with 5 minutes and 39 seconds left to play in the first quarter.

But that’s when Tualatin, sparked by its turnover-forcing defense, took off.

The Wolves went on a quick 11-0 run that included a jumper by junior Lindsay Barrow, a three-pointer by sophomore Madison Hall, back-to-back layups by juniors Savannah Heugly and Tessa Bullis and a 14-foot jump shot by Miller. The scoring spree gave Tualatin a 13-3 lead with 2:09 left in the period.

Bullis added a three-pointer later in the quarter, and Britta Hall had a pair of three-pointer in the final 1:23 of the period, including a buzzer-beater from the top of the circle, giving the Wolves a 24-6 lead going into the second quarter.

Tualatin helped force Century into 14 turnovers in the opening quarter. Heugly had three steals in the period while Britta Hall and Miller added two steals apiece in the quarter.

“We hustle,” Hall said. “And our defense is our best offense.”

But things turned around in the second quarter.

Tualatin turned the ball over 11 times while making just five of 16 shots from the field in the period.

Century, getting 10 points from Kenfield in the quarter, trimmed the Timberwolf lead to 37-28 at halftime.

“That’s not how we like to play,” Miller said.

But the fired-up Timberwolves got their game going again to start the second half.

Tualatin senior guard Baylee Lyle sank a three-pointer from the right corner to star the third quarter, igniting a 9-0 run. Heugly followed with a free throw, Barrow drilled a three-pointer from the left corner and Britta Hall went 2-for-2 from the foul line to give Tualatin a 46-28 lead with 5:18 left in the period.

Britta Hall and Madison Hall each sank three-point baskets later in the period and Bullis had a last-second steal and layup to give Tualatin a 57-37 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Britta Hall then scored seven points in the final stanza and Heugly, Bullis and Miller each added a basket in the period to help the Wolves wrap up the 70-51 victory.

“In the second half, we definitely stepped it up,” Britta Hall said. “We got fired up at halftime.”

In addition to her game-high 24 points, Hall also had eight rebounds and five steals in the victory.

Bullis came off the bench to score 14 points. Miller had a strong overall game with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals. Barrow scored seven points and Heugly had five points to go with seven rebounds and six steals.

Tualatin shot at a 24-for-66 clip from the field, including nine three-point baskets. The Wolves also helped force Century into 32 turnovers.

Kenfield led the Jaguars with 11 points.

Prior to the win over Century, Tualatin posted a 55-38 win over McMinnville in a league game played Friday at McMinnville High School.

Britta Hall scored 19 points in that contest. Miller added 10 and Barrow scored eight.

The Wolves will be back in action Friday when they host Glencoe in a league game starting at 5:45 p.m. at Tualatin High School. It will be the team’s final home game of the regular season.

“It’s a big game,” Miller said. “We really want to win that one for our seniors.”

The Wolves will finish their league schedule Tuesday when they travel to Hillsboro for a 5:45 p.m. contest.

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