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Tualatin boys battle to fifth place at state

The Wolves close the tournament with a pair of victories


by: DAN BROOD - TAKING AIM -- Tualatin junior Harrison Visse looks to score during the Wolves' state tournament game with David Douglas.CORVALLIS — The Tualatin High School boys water polo team didn’t want its season to end before it had to.

The Timberwolves also didn’t want to go home empty-handed.

Thanks to some strong play, they didn’t have to deal with either of those situations.

Tualatin finished its season on a strong note, downing David Douglas 20-14 in the consolation semifinals and then besting Sunset 12-8 in the Oregon State Tournament, held Friday and Saturday at the Osborn Aquatic Center.

“It went pretty well,” Tualatin senior Forrest Lofgren said following the Wolves’ win over David Douglas on Friday. “We did some good tweaking in the playoffs, and we pulled it together.”

“It could have been the seniors last game,” Tualatin junior Harrison Visse said after Friday’s game. “We didn’t want that to happen.”

The win in Saturday’s fifth-place game was also important to the Wolves.

“It’s been since before my freshman year that we placed at state,” Visse said.

“It would be good to go out with a win,” Lofgren added.

The determined Timberwolves trailed David Douglas 2-1 early on in Friday’s consolation semifinal game, but Tualatin took charge from there.

A pair of goals by Lofgren, both coming off assists from Visse, and a goal by freshman Jacob Berggren, also coming off a Visse assist, gave the Wolves a 4-2 lead with 2 minutes and 8 seconds left in the first quarter.

by: DAN BROOD - GETTING TO IT -- Tualatin senior goalie Jacob Baldry (1) gets to the ball in front of David Douglas senior Jonathan Merkley.David Douglas cut the lead to 4-3 on a goal by Jonathan Merkley and the Scots had a chance to tie the game, but Tualatin senior goalie Jacob Baldry blocked a hard shot by David Douglas senior Sam Redwine-Hixon to preserve the Timberwolf lead.

Visse followed up the key defensive play with a goal off a pass from Lofgren to give Tualatin a 5-3 advantage going into the second quarter.

Lofgren added two more goals in the first 3:26 of the second quarter to push the Tualatin lead to 7-4.

The Scots trimmed the lead to 7-5 with a goal by Merkley, but the Wolves finished the quarter with a flurry of goals.

Tualatin junior Nick Giles, junior Dylan Girardi and Lofgren all scored in the final 1:38 of the period to give the Wolves a 10-5 halftime lead.

Tualatin carried its momentum into the third quarter. The Wolves got two goals from Lofgren and one each by Girardi and junior Brenden O’Neill to start the period, opening up a 14-5 lead with 4:01 left in the quarter.

Girardi came up with a steal and breakaway goal later in the period and Lofgren added a goal off an assist by Visse to give the Wolves a 16-9 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Tualatin then all but put the game away early in the final stanza. The Wolves got consecutive goals from Lofgren, senior Tyler Gastiaburu and Giles to open the period, pushing the margin to 19-9 with 4:43 left in the match.

The Tualatin lead stayed at 10, after Visse scored on a lob shot to make the score 20-10 with 2:54 remaining.

A late David Douglas charge made the final score 20-14.

by: DAN BROOD - LEADING THE WAY -- Tualatin senior Forrest Lofgren (left) keeps the ball away from David Douglas senior Raymond Miller during Friday's state tournament game in Corvallis.“The guys played a great game,” Tualatin coach Ryan Deahn said after the victory. “I think we were 100 percent on man-ups. The guys really wanted to win.”

“I think we’re a dynamic team,” Visse said.

Lofgren led the Wolves in the victory with nine goals. Girardi had four goals and Visse had two goals to go with six assists. Giles also scored two goals while Berggren, O’Neill and Gastiaburu each had one.

In Saturday’s fifth-place game with Sunset, Tualatin found itself in a 4-4 halftime time with the Apollos before pulling away in the second half.

Visse, Lofgren and Berggren also scored in the third quarter to give the Wolves a 7-5 lead going into the fourth. Lofgren then scored two more times in the fourth quarter to help Tualatin put away the 12-8 victory.

Lofgren led a balanced Tualatin scoring attack in the win with four goals. Berggren had three goals. Visse and O’Neill each had a pair of goals.

Baldry earned all-tournament second-team accolades for his play at goalie. Lofgren and Berggren were both all-tournament honorable mention picks.

The fifth-place match marked the final high school game for Tualatin seniors Baldry, Owen Mansfield, Lofgren and Gastiaburu.

Other members of the team include sophomore Noah Frank, sophomore Davis Loen, freshman Alex Valos, freshman Ben Scheilcher and freshman Jordan Hanford. Nick Kish is the team’s assistant coach.



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