The Apollos use a 17-10 edge in the fourth quarter to win

CEDAR MILL — It’s just four games into the 2012 season for the Sunset boys basketball team, but so far, it’s been so far, so good for the Apollos.

Sunset won its third straight game on Friday night, using a 17-10 scoring edge in the fourth quarter to beat Tigard 49-45 in a non-league game at Sunset High School. That result, along with a 55-40 loss at Barlow on Tuesday, took Sunset’s record to 3-1. Tigard, meanwhile, saw its non-league record fall to MILES VANCE - CHALLENGING - Sunset senior guard Tucker Hutchinson drives against Tigard's 6-foot-7 Joel Johnson during his team's 49-45 non-league win over the Tigers on Friday night at Sunset High School.

“I think we had a size advantage and we just needed to take advantage of that,” said Sunset junior post Tyler Gutierrez, who led all scorers with 17 points. “We weren’t doing that the first half, but in the second half, we stepped it up a little bit.”

“We made some changes and it helped us win the game,” added Sunset senior guard Joe McFerrin III, who added eight points in the win.

Early on, though, this one was a dogfight. McFerrin hit once from the field and twice at the foul line in the opening quarter to help his team take an 8-7 lead, but the Tigers answered in the second to push into the lead.

There, Tigard senior Evan Garrison got it going offensively, scoring once on the fast break early in the period, then lofting in a runner in the lane and hitting a pull-up from the top of the key on back-to-back possessions to give his team a 17-11 edge with 3 minutes, 40 seconds to go in the half.

But Sunset closed the half on an 8-3 run over the final 2:07 of the period and cut its deficit to 20-19 at the break. First, Sunset got a three-pointer by Jonathan Willes from the top of the key after Garrison’s last score, then another Willes “three” from the left corner that he turned into a four-point play. Willes then added a free throw on the Apollos’ next possession.

Tigard stretched its lead again in the third period, eventually taking its advantage to seven points twice, the last time at 31-24 when Will Schaer hit a one-handed shot in the key with 4:49 to go in the stanza.

Again, though, the Tigers couldn’t hold that lead. Sunset answered with a three-pointer from Daniel Duitsman assisted by McFerrin, then got a three-point play from Gutierrez, who took a McFerrin pass on the right baseline, drove to the basket and scored while being fouled on a reverse layin. He added the ensuing foul shot to bring his team within 32-30 with 2:25 remaining in the third.

Tigard kicked off the final period with a Schaer three-pointer from the left corner assisted by Garrison to extend its lead to 38-32, but Sunset took over after that. Duitsman drilled another three-pointer, and then the Apollos went to the 6-foot-8 Gutierrez for three straight baskets, the last of those on a spin move set up by another McFerrin assist for a 41-40 Sunset lead with 4:48 left in the game.

Taylor Harris knocked down a three-pointer from the right side to push Sunset’s lead to 44-40 with 3:37 left in the clock, and McFerrin knocked down four straight foul shots in the final 54 seconds to seal up the win.

“I’ve been struggling the last couple games with my free throws so I was pretty proud of myself to make all of my free throws,” McFerrin said.

Tigard got a Robbie Chabreck hoop in the lane to move within 44-42 following Harris’ “three,” but the Tigers made just one of their final four shots and turned the ball over once on their final five possessions to fall short.

“I think the difference was just rebounding and playing hard,” Gutierrez said. “We weren’t playing that hard in the first half and just coming out with intensity in the second half was a big deal. It was a really big win for us.”

For the game, Gutierrez hit 7-of-10 shots from the floor, and 3-of-4 foul shots. McFerrin went 0-for-7 from the floor, but knocked down all eight of his foul shots and also handed out seven assists.

For Tigard, Garrison finished with 16 points on 7-of-19 shooting from the field and a 2-of-4 day at the line, as well as handing out three assists. Schaer went 5-of-13 from the field (including one three-pointer) to finish with 11 points.

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