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Tigers throw scare into No. 1 Lakers


Tigard falls 60-50 in the state playoff second-round game

No matter the opponent, it seems like you can always count on the Tigard High School boys basketball team to work hard and go all out.

With that attitude going for them, the Tigers came close to pulling off a playoff shocker.

Tigard threw quite a scare into top-ranked, and undefeated Lake Oswego before falling 60-50 to the Lakers in a Class 6A state playoff second-round game played Friday at Lake Oswego High School.by: MATT SHERMAN - ON THE DRIVE -- Tigard High School junior Bryan Berg looks to make his way to the basket between Lake Oswego's Daniel Verburg and Calvin Hermanson in Friday's Class 6A state playoff second round game.

“We knew we didn’t have anything to lose,” Tigard senior post Will Schaer said. “It was close all game, and they haven’t had too many close games.”

“It was one of their tightest games of the year,” Tigard coach Shawn Alderman said. “Our kids competed and played tough. You almost have to play a perfect game against a team like that. We weren’t perfect, but our kids played pretty well.”

Lake Oswego, the Three Rivers League champion, improved to 26-0 on the season with the victory. The Lakers also advanced to the Class 6A state tournament and faced Southridge in a tourney quarterfinal game on Wednesday.

Tigard, the Pacific Conference champion, finished its season with an overall record of 18-8, which included a perfect 14-0 mark in league play.

“It was a great season,” Schaer said. “I was proud of what we were able to do. Going undefeated in league was amazing. That’s a big accomplishment.”

“Overall, it was a great season,” Alderman said. “The kids had a great year. They put in a lot of hard work.”

All of that hard work nearly paid off in a big way for Tigard in its playoff game with undefeated Lake Oswego.

The Tigers, attacking the rim with abandon, took an early 10-6 lead in the contest. But the talented Lakers countered with a 10-0 run. A late layup by senior Jack Anderson gave Lake Oswego a 16-12 lead at the end of the opening period.

The Lakers then opened the second quarter with a 9-0 run that included a pair of three-pointers by senior Colin Caslik.

But Tigard battled back. Senior guard Evan Garrison ignited a Tiger rally with a three-pointer. Tigard ended the second quarter with a 9-2 run, including a layup by sophomore post Joel Johnson off a pass from junior Elijah Simon which trimmed the Laker lead to 30-23 at halftime.

The Tigers carried their momentum into the third quarter, cutting the margin to two points on a three-point basket by junior guard Bryan Berg.

Lake Oswego answered with a 7-0 run keyed by senior standout Calvin Hermanson. But the Tigers wouldn’t go away.

Berg sank two more three-pointers to help Tigard get within one, at 44-43, going into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers would go on to take their first lead of the game since the opening quarter on a turnaround jumper by Garrison with just under six minutes left to play in the game.

The Lakers answered back at the free throw line and they would go on to take a 52-47 lead on back-to-back baskets by senior Daniel Verburg and Hermanson with a little more than two minutes remaining.

Down by seven, Tigard tried to battle back again. The Tigers got a pair of free throws and then forced a Laker turnover. A free throw by Garrison cut the Lake Oswego lead to four with 41 seconds left to play in the game, but the Lakers put the contest away with six straight free throws.

“We were really motivated for this game,” said the 6-foot-2 Schaer, who had the unenviable task of guarding the 6-6 Hermanson.

“I couldn’t be more proud of Will,” Alderman said. “We got great contributions from everyone.”

Garrison, the Pacific Conference Player of the Year, paced the Tigers with 18 points in the contest.

“Evan had one of the best seasons I’ve ever seen here,” Alderman said.

Berg added 15 points while Johnson and junior Nick Kaelin each scored six.

Hermanson, who had been limited by Schaer and the Tiger defense in the first half, finished with 19 points for the Lakers.

The playoff loss marked the final high school game for Tigard seniors Robby Chabreck, Schaer, Brian Josephson, Garrison and Conner Olson.

“I’m proud of all the seniors,” Alderman said. “They did a great job leading us.”

“It was a special year for us,” Schaer said. “This is the closest team I’ve been on. We’re like brothers and we all worked hard.”

Matt Sherman of Pamplin Media Group contributed to this story.