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Timberwolves power past Centennial

Tualatin will play at Clackamas Friday in second-round tilt


by: DAN BROOD - GOOD JOB -- Members of the Tualatin High School girls basketball team, including senior Jasmine Miller (2), senior Savannah Heugly (32) and sophomore Emily Leonard (14) congratulate each other following the Wolves state playoff win over Centennial.TUALATIN — The Tualatin girls basketball team didn’t want to see its season come to an end.

And, thanks to a strong overall effort, the Timberwolves get to keep on playing.

Tualatin, standing tall on defense and being aggressive on both ends of the court, powered its way to a 61-52 win over Centennial in a Class 6A state playoff first-round game played Tuesday at Tualatin High School.

“We played really well together,” said Tualatin senior post Jasmine Miller, who had 13 points and eight rebounds in the win. “We were able to run on them, and we took advantage of them being smaller than us.”

“We want to keep playing and go as far as we can,” said Tualatin senior post Savannah Heugly, who led all scorers with 17 points while also pulling down 12 rebounds.

“Any time you win a playoff game, it’s huge,” Tualatin coach Casey Bunn said. “We did a good job on defense, and got out on their shooters.”

Centennial, the No. 3 team out of the Mt. Hood Conference, finished its season with a final overall record of 14-10. Tualatin, the No. 3 team from the Pacific Conference, improved to 14-9 on the season with the win. The Wolves also advance to the second round of the state playoffs. They’ll face Clackamas Friday, starting at 7 p.m. at Clackamas High School. Clackamas, the No. 2 team from the Three Rivers League, is 20-5 on the season.

“We believe we can hang with them,” Miller said. “We need to play Tualatin basketball.”

“We have to get it done on defense and execute on offense,” Heugly said.

The Wolves sure seemed to get their offense going in Tuesday’s postseason opener.

Heugly scored eight points in the first quarter, Miller added five in the quarter and senior wing Madi Hall sank a three-pointer to help the Wolves take a 20-15 lead at the end of the opening period.

Centennial was able to sink three three-pointers in the second quarter. But Tualatin, getting four points each from sophomore Emily Leonard and Heugly, upped its lead to 32-26 at halftime.

The Wolves were able to add to the margin in the third quarter. Tualatin took a 44-34 lead when senior Lindsay Barrow splashed down a three-pointer late in the third quarter.

by: DAN BROOD - TOUGH ON DEFENSE -- Tualatin seniors Madi Hall (left) and Lindsay Barrow (21) keep the pressure on Centennial's Melissa Dailey in Tuesday's state playoff game.Centennial rushed back into contention by hitting its first three shots in the fourth quarter — a flurry that ended with point guard Melissa Dailey burying a three-pointer from the corner.The Eagles made it a one-possession game when center Gabbi Schmitt pulled down an offensive board and kicked it out top to Meagan Smith for another three-pointer. The threat lasted only a matter of seconds when the Wolves rushed down court and saw sophomore Tamika Etherly connect on a long ball from in front of the team’s bench.

Centennial wasn’t ready to go away yet, closing back to within 52-50 when Melissa Dailey found her sister Megan with a bounce pass through the lane that led to an easy two.

Seconds later, the Eagles stepped in front of a pass in the backcourt and had a chance to pull even only to see a baseline jumper fall off the rim.

That would prove to be their only chance to get even.

Tualatin expanded the gap to 57-50 after senior Tessa Bullis took an inbounds pass near halfcourt and dribbled straight to the rim for a layup. Barrow and Heugly then combined to hit all four of their free throws in the final minute to seal the victory.

“Centennial was a good team. They were scrappy,” Bunn said. “Our girls did a good job of playing tough. We also crashed the boards well, which opened things for our shooters.”

“We’re playing like we have nothing to lose,” Miller said. “We can be up there. We believe.”

Heugly scored 12 of her game-high 17 points in the first half. Barrow added seven points while Etherly, sophomore Hannah Self and Bullis each had five.

Melissa Dailey led Centennial with 16 points. Megan Dailey added 13 points for the Eagles.

The winner of Friday’s game at Clackamas will advance to the Class 6A state tournament and face either Beaverton or Sheldon Wednesday in a state tourney quarterfinal game starting at 3:15 p.m. at the Moda Center.

David Ball of Pamplin Media Group contributed to this story.




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