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Hard work pays off for the Tualatin boys


The Wolves, passing strong, get a 20-6 win over Tigard

by: DAN BROOD - REACHING -- Tualatin's Owen Mansfield (left) looks to keep the ball away from Tigard's Brad Hansen during last Thursday's game between the rivals at the Tualatin Swim Center. The Wolves got a 20-6 victory. TUALATIN — They’ve put in a lot of hard work.

They’re stronger, older and more mature.

And, it looks like it’s all starting to pay off for the Tualatin High School boys water polo team.

The Timberwolves showed off the results of all their hard work, and other aspects, last week when they powered their way to a 20-6 win over rival Tigard in a Pacific Conference game played Sept. 25 at the Tualatin Swim Center.

“We’re a lot better this year,” Tualatin senior Forrest Lofgren said after the contest. “We all worked hard in the offseason, and our cohesiveness is better. We’re really playing well as a team.”

With the victory, the Tualatin boys moved to 7-2 on the season and to 4-0 in Pacific Conference games to that point.

“We want to place high in league and state,” Lofgren said. “I think we can do it.”

“The guys have gotten close,” Tualatin coach Ryan Deahn said. “And they’re a little more mature this year. That maturity and discipline is showing. They’re also really playing as a team. I really want them to get to the final rounds at state.”

The young Tigard team moved to 1-7 on the season and to 1-3 in conference games with the setback.

“The boys are still learning,” Tigard coach John Ruzicka said. “We’ll get there.”

Tualatin, behind some strong passing and defense, got off to a flying start to last week’s game.by: DAN BROOD - BATTLING -- Tigard's Austin Todd (left) and Tualatin's Davis Loen fight for the ball during last week's game at the Tualatin Swim Center.

Timberwolf freshman Jacob Berggren came up with a steal and breakaway goal to give Tualatin a quick 1-0 lead less than a minute into the contest.

Lofgren added a goal off a long pass from senior Owen Mansfield and junior Brenden O’Neill added a penalty shot goal to push the Tualatin lead to 3-0 with 4 minutes and 43 seconds left in the first quarter.

Mansfield then scored on a shot from the right side. Junior Dylan Girardi had a breakaway goal and Lofgren scored on an open shot off another pass from Mansfield to push the margin to 6-0.

Tualatin then got another goal by Girardi, back-to-back goals by sophomore Davis Loen and a goal on a long-range shot by O’Neill in the final three minutes of the period to close the first quarter with a 10-0 advantage.

Tualatin kept rolling in the second quarter.

Mansfield tallied back-to-back goals to push the lead to 12-0 with 2:32 remaining in the period. Girardi followed with a goal off an assist from Mansfield. Junior Nick Giles scored off a pass form Lofgren, who then added a last-second steal and breakaway goal to up the margin to 15-0 at halftime.

Tigard, still battling hard, tried to come back in the second half.

The Tigers got on the scoreboard when Brad Hansen scored on a breakaway lob shot with 6:22 left in the third quarter. Hansen followed that up with two more unanswered goals to make the score 15-3 with 3:48 remaining in the period.

Tualatin ended the Tigard run with sophomore Noah Frank scored off a pass from freshman Alex Valos, upping the Timberwolf lead 16-3.

Tigard got another goal by Hansen with 1:32 left in the period. Tualatin answered with consecutive goals by Lofgren and Berggren. Tigard got a goal on a long-range shot by Logan Hammer with 18 seconds left in the period, making the score 18-5 going into the fourth quarter.

The Wolves opened the final stanza with a penalty shot goal by Girardi and a goal by senior Harrison Visse coming off a pass from Lofgren. Tigard closed out the scoring with a lob shot goal by Hammer, making the final score 20-6.

“It was good,” Lofgren said.. “We did what we had to do tonight. We just need to keep playing as a team.”

Girardi and Lofgren led a balanced Tualatin scoring attack in the victory with four goals apiece. Mansfield had three goals while Berggren, Loen and O’Neill each scored twice. Tualatin had nine players score at least one goal in the victory.

Hansen led Tigard with four goals. Hammer added a pair of goals.

The Tigers bounced back from the loss to post a 10-8 win over Hillsboro in a conference game played Monday at the Tigard Swim Center. The win ups Tigard's league record to 2-3.

On Wednesday, Tigard was scheduled to play at Lakeridge and Tualatin was slated to face Newberg. Results of those games weren't available when The Times went to press.

On Monday, the Timberwolves will play at Lake Oswego in a conference game starting at 7 p.m.