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Clackamas is up first for Tigard

The state tourney quarterfinal game is set for 6:30 p.m. tonight


by: DAN BROOD - IT'S MINE -- Tigard senior Megan Risinger keeps the ball away from Jesuit's Lauren Glick (left) and Kate Andersen in Saturday's state playoff game. The Tigers will face Clackamas in a state-tournament quarterfinal game today.PORTLAND — Getting to the Class 6A state tournament has been a season-long goal for the Tigard High School girls basketball team.

But, now that they’ve reached that goal, the Tigers don’t want to stop there.

They’re ready to make some noise at the state tourney, which starts today (Thursday) and runs through Saturday at the Rose Garden.

“Our next goal is the state championship,” Tigard junior guard Lexi Carter said following the Tigers’ 24-17 win over Jesuit in a Class 6A state playoff second-round game played Saturday at Tigard High School.

“Hopefully, we’ll make it all the way,” Tigard senior post Meeka Mayhew said.

“It’s time for us to reevaluate our goals,” Tigard senior post Megan Risinger said with a smile. “Our next goal is to win the championship. We’re going to take it one at a time.”

First up for the Tigers, who bring a 23-3 record into the state tournament, will be a quarterfinal game with Clackamas, which is set to start at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the Rose Garden.

Clackamas, the No. 2 team out of the Three Rivers League, is 21-5 on the season.

“They’re good, and they’ll press us,” Tigard coach Steve Naylor said of the Cavaliers.

The teams have met already this season, with Clackamas getting a 35-29 win over the Tigers in a game played Dec. 11 at Tigard High School.

The Tigers took a 23-19 lead into the fourth quarter of that game before Clackamas rallied to get the victory.

“Their press got us down,” Naylor said. “They’re better now than they were then, and I think we’re better. We’ll have to build to break the press and take care of the ball.”

The Cavaliers are led by senior point guard/wing Deeshrya Thomas (5-foot-8), who is in her fourth season on the Clackamas varsity.

“I think she might be the best defensive player in the state,” Naylor said of Thomas, who was a first-team All-Three Rivers League pick this season.

Clackamas junior wing Sydney Azorr (5-9) also garnered first-team all-league honors this season. She also was the Cavaliers’ leading scorer, with 10 points, in the game against Tigard earlier this season.

Other key players for Clackamas include junior guard Kaitlyn Reiner (5-5) and junior post Eric Pagano (6-0).

The Tigard girls say they know what to expect, and that they’re prepared for the rematch with the Cavaliers.

“We’re ready for them,” Carter said. “We let it slip away the first time we played them. We’re going to have to shut down their guards and we’ll have to bring our ‘A’ game.”

“They’re really fast,” Tigard junior guard Emilee Cincotta said of the Cavaliers. “We had too many turnovers the first time we played them. We just have to take care of the ball.”

The winner of today’s quarterfinal game between Tigard and Clackamas will go on to face either St. Mary’s or South Medford in a tourney semifinal game to be played Friday at 6:30 p.m. The loser of today’s quarterfinal tile will meet St. Mary’s or South Medford in a consolation semifinal game Friday at 10:45 a.m.

The Class 6A state title game is scheduled to be played Saturday at 6:30 p.m.



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