Class 6A girls basketball — Inconsistent offense sinks NHS in Florida tournament finale and its last preseason contest versus the Titans Friday night

Although the circumstances of each game were different, Newberg’s offensive struggles continued last week, contributing to losses to Central Regional, New Jersey and West Salem to wrap up a trying winter break.

Both the Tigers and Central Regional appeared to be exhausted playing in the final game of a tournament in Orando, Fla., with Newberg coming out on the wrong end of the 33-28 score line on Jan. 6 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Tigers looked much better against the Titans, especially in an exciting back-and-forth first half, but Newberg’s offense sputtered in the third quarter. West Salem seized control of the contest, then hit its free throws down the stretch to prevail 56-47.

The Central Regional loss came on the heels of another close loss, 38-32 to West Shore, Fla., when the Tigers simply shot the ball poorly, going 11-for-36 from the floor.

“I feel like both of those games we lost (at the tournament) we could have won,” said head coach Tami Woginrich. “We shot ourselves in the foot in the second game, but it was a defensive struggle. Both teams played well defensively.”

Tori Eichten led the team with 13 points and eight rebounds, with Hannah Green adding nine points, but by the time the offense really found a rhythm in the fourth quarter, it was too late.

by: SETH GORDON - Up and over -- Hannah Green puts up a shot during Newberg's 56-47 home loss to West Salem Friday night. The senior guard scored six points, but the Tigers offense stalled in the third quarter, allowing the Titans to seize control of the game.“If there had been two more minutes left in the game, we probably would have won because we really started coming on,” Woginrich said. “We just started so sluggish. I’d love to play that game again.”

By the way they played in the first half Friday versus West Salem, the Tigers appeared to be feeling like themselves once again upon getting some rest and returning to Oregon.

That resulted in a 26-24 lead at the break, but in the third quarter the Titans found success on the fast break, while at the same time Newberg stalled out offensively, settling for outside shots instead of attacking the basket like they had in the first half. When they did, the Tigers missed a few easy shots, compounding their frustration.

Newberg was also unable to slow down freshman center Paige Whipple, who dominated on the interior to the tune of 23 points and nine rebounds.

The Tigers finally got back on track in the fourth quarter, but the Titans went 10-for-12 from the free throw line to hold them off.

For the game, West Salem went 22-for-24 at the charity stripe, whereas Newberg struggled, making nine of its 20 free throw attempts.

Sophomore Christina Bryan had a strong game for the Tigers, putting up nine points and hauling in 12 rebounds. Eichten added nine points and six rebounds, with Sabrina Salmons totaling eight points and eight boards. As a team, though, Newberg made 19 of its 56 shots from the floor.

The Tigers will begin Pacific Conference play Friday at perennial powerhouse Tigard at 5:45 p.m. in a girls-boys doubleheader.

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