Tigard plays hard in its four games at the prestigous tourney

HILLSBORO — The Tigard High School boys basketball team seemed to put forth a lot of effort.

But all of that effort wasn’t quite enough to offset too many turnovers and too many missed shots.

Still, the Tigers say, the experience will make them better.

Tigard, playing in the prestigious Les Schwab Invitational, saw its strong effort come up just short in a 54-47 loss to Sprague in an invitational consolation quarterfinal game played last Thursday at Liberty High School.

“We couldn’t hit at all,” Tigard senior guard Evan Garrison said after the game. “And we had a lot of turnovers. “We played hard, with a lot of urgency, at the end. We should have done that at the beginning.”by: DAN BROOD - FLOATING -- Tigard High School junior guard Bryan Berg (right) goes up to the basket against Sprague's Tanner Morgan during Friday's game at the Les Schwab Invitational held at Liberty High School.

The Tigers ended up losing all four of its games at the invitational, moving their season record to 4-7, but they’re still looking to benefit from the experience.

“We’re playing four tough teams in four games,” Tigard coach Shawn Alderman said following last Thursday’s contest. “I hope this helps get us ready for league.”

“We hope to take a lot from it,” Garrison said of the tournament. “We get to play four good teams. We’re a young team, and we’re still learning.”

Tigard, in last Thursday’s game, found itself facing an early deficit, as Sprague jumped out to a 9-2 lead on a foul-line jumper by senior Tanner Morgan, coming with 5 minutes and 25 seconds left in the first quarter.

The Tigers battled back. A 19-foot jump shot by junior Nick Kaelin, coming off an assist by senior Will Schaer, a foul-line jumper by Garrison and a layup by sophomore post Joel Johnson off a pass by Garrison trimmed the margin to 9-8 with 3:20 left in the opening period.

But, Tigard, plagued by eight turnovers in the period, saw the Olympians take a 14-10 lead into the second quarter.

The Tigers got a jumper from Garrison and a pair of free throws by Kaelin in the opening minutes of the period to stay within four, at 18-14. Tigard would score four more points in the quarter — two coming on a dunk by Johnson off a pass from junior guard Bryan Berg — leaving Sprague with a 24-18 advantage at halftime.

The Olympians went on a 7-1 run to start the third quarter, upping their lead to 31-19 with 5:05 left in the period.

Tigard ended the run with four straight free throws by Berg, making the score 31-23 with 4:11 remaining in the quarter. The Tigers got a follow-up basket by Johnson and a tip-in by Schaer later in the period, but they found themselves trailing 36-27 going into the fourth quarter.

Tigard came back strong to start the final stanza. Garrison swished a pair of free throws, Berg went 1-for-2 from the stripe and Schaer drained a three-pointer off an assist from Garrison to trim the Sprague lead to 38-33 with 6:04 left in the contest.

The Tigers were still within five, at 49-44, after senior Conner Olson sank a three-pointer from the left corner with 2:01 remaining to play.

They then got a little bit closer, trimming the margin to 51-47 on a long three-point basket by Berg with 58 seconds left to play. But Tigard, which made just five of 15 shots from the field during its fourth-quarter rally, couldn’t score again.

From there, Sprague, getting three free throws by senior guard A.J. Lapray down the stretch, pulled away for the 54-47 win.

“We missed open threes and we missed open layins. It was one of those nights,” Alderman said. “But you hope to do other things to offset a bad shooting night.”

Garrison led a balanced Tigard scoring attack in the contest with 12 points. He also dished off three assists. Johnson had 11 points to go with a game-high eight rebounds. Berg had 10 points and three assists. Schaer had seven points and three steals.

Tigard, as a team, made 15 of 45 shots from the field and 14 of 19 free throw attempts.

Lapray led all scorers with 22 points.

Tigard opened the tournament Dec. 26 with an 87-58 loss to nationally ranked Neumann-Goretti from Philadelphia.

“That game was good for us,” Garrison said. “They had athletes that you don’t see here.”

Garrison led the Tigers in that game with 20 points. Berg added 13 points and Johnson had six. Ja’Quan Newton paced Newmann-Goretti with 27 points.

On Friday, Tigard was edged 58-52 by Sunset. Garrison had 22 points on an 8-for-15 shooting night in that contest. Berg had 11 points, Schaer scored nine and Johnson had seven rebounds and six blocked shots.

Sunset’s Tyler Gutierrez led all scorers with 29 points.

Tigard finished tourney play Saturday with a 72-51 loss to Sheldon.

Garrison scored 21 points to lead the Tigers in that game. Johnson had six points, 11 rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Junior Elijah Simon added six points for Tigard.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they travel to Newberg High School for a Pacific Conference opener set to start at 7:15 p.m.

On Tuesday, Tigard will be home to face Glencoe in a Pacific Conference game set to start at 7:15 p.m.

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