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

CEDAR MILL — It’s early to be sure, but so far, the Tigard boys basketball team has been riding the roller coaster in 2012.

The Tigers opened the year with a three-point loss to Milwaukie, came back with a big win over Westview, then dropped a tough 49-45 non-league decision at Sunset High School on Friday night to take its 2012 record to 1-2.

“In the second half, we thought our shooting woes would turn around by switching baskets, but it obviously didn’t,” said Tigard senior guard Evan Garrison, who led the Tigers with 16 points. “It just wasn’t our night.”

The Apollos used a 17-10 scoring edge in Friday’s fourth quarter to fuel the win over Tigard and, along with a 55-40 loss at Barlow on Tuesday, took their record to 3-1.

Early on, though, Friday’s game was a dogfight. Sunset senior guard Joe McFerrin III 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 MILES VANCE - TIGER SHOT -- Tigard junior Nick Kaelin goes up for a shot during the Tigers' non-league game at Sunset on Friday.

There, 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 lead 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.

“We were playing a lot better defense and they didn’t hit as many shots as they did in the second half,” Garrison explained. “And we were running our stuff a little more.”

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 senior post Tyler 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 Tigard got a Robby Chabreck hoop in the lane to move within 44-42, 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. McFerrin made four straight foul shots in the final 54 seconds to seal up the win.

Despite the loss, Garrison remained confident in his team and hopeful about its chances.

“I really like this team a lot this year. We have a lot of good pieces that go together and we have good chemistry. The guys really like each other,” Garrison said. “I think if we have a night when we knock down shots, we can beat anybody.”

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, with a three-pointer, to finish with 11 points.

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