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Defense does it for Timberwolves

Tualatin shuts down Hillsboro to get a 45-34 win in Pacific Conference play


by: DAN BROOD - UNDER PRESSURE -- Tualatin senior guard Tessa Bullis (33) keeps pressure on Hillsboro's Makenna Gambee during Friday's game. HILLSBORO — The Tualatin High School girls basketball team didn’t have a good shooting night.

In fact, the Timberwolves were ice cold.

But, as it turned out, that didn’t really matter.

They more than made up for that — with defense.

Tualatin, despite shooting at a 24.6 percent clip from the field, powered its way to a 45-34 win over Hillsboro in a Pacific Conference game played Friday at Hillsboro High.

“We brought it on defense,” Tualatin senior post Jasmine Miller said after the game. “Defense is a big focus with us. When we play our game, we do well.”

“We knew we had to keep with it,” Tualatin senior post Savannah Heugly added.

Hillsboro fell to 2-3 in conference play and to 12-3 on the season at that point with the setback. The Timberwolves improved to 4-1 in conference games (9-4 overall) at that point with the win, keeping them in a tie with Glencoe for second place in the standings.

“These games are the ones we need to win,” Miller said.

“We just needed to prove this to ourselves,” Heugly said. “We believe in our team.”by: DAN BROOD - SURE SHOT -- Tualatin senior Savannah Heugly (right) shoots over Hillsboro's Tarea Green in Friday's game.

The Wolves sure seem to believe that strong defensive play is a key to victory. In Friday’s game, they made just 16 of 65 shots from the field. However, Tualatin helped force Hillsboro into 30 turnovers in the contest (while having just eight, itself), while allowing the Spartans to take only 27 shots from the field.

“Our defense had to be our best offense,” Tualatin coach Casey Bunn said. “We came out real flat tonight, but the girls did a good job adjusting at halftime.”

The Wolves’ cold shooting night began right from the start of Friday’s game, as they made only five of 15 shots from the field in the first quarter. However, Tualatin senior wing Madi Hall sank a long three-point basket with just one second showing on the clock, tying the game at 11-11 at the end of the opening period.

Hillsboro took a 16-13 lead on a three-pointer by junior post Tarea Green coming with 6 minutes and 50 seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Wolves answered that with a 6-0 run that included three straight points by Heugly, a free throw by sophomore post Hannah Self and a layup by Miller off an assist from senior point guard Tessa Bullis. The run gave Tualatin a 19-16 lead with 4:07 remaining in the first half.

Tualatin went on to claim a 21-20 halftime lead.

The Wolves’ shooting woes continued in the third quarter. Tualatin made just three of 19 shots from the field in the period. But, they allowed Hillsboro to take a total of just three shots from the field in the quarter, forcing the Spartans into nine turnovers in the process.

Miller scored five points in the period, including a three-point basket, and Self added three points, helping Tualatin take a 29-27 lead into the fourth quarter. Heugly, Miller and the rest of the Wolves then took charge in the final stanza.

Heugly scored on a short-range jumper off an assist from Miller to open the fourth quarter. On the Wolves’ next time down the court, Miller sank a bank shot off an assist from Heugly to give Tualatin a 33-27 lead with 7:25 remaining in the game.

“We’ve played together for a long time,” Miller said of the connection with Heugly. “It’s been a lot of fun.”

Tualatin kept rolling from there. A pair of free throws by sophomore wing Tamika Etherly and a basket by Heugly, off another assist from Miller, gave Tualatin a 37-28 lead with 5:16 left to play.

Hillsboro was able to cut the lead to 40-34 when Green scored on a layup with 2:07 left to play, but the Wolves didn’t allow the Spartans to score again.

Meanwhile, Bullis sank four free throws down the stretch to help Tualatin wrap up the 45-34 victory.

“The girls did a real good job competing,” Bunn said. “We’ve got a ton to work on, but these girls work so hard every day.”

Heugly and Miller led the way for Tualatin in the win with 14 points apiece. Heugly also had nine rebounds, four steals and three assists. Miller also had eight rebounds, three assists and three steals.

by: DAN BROOD - DRIBBLE DRIVE -- Tualatin senior Lindsay Barrow (right) drives past Hillsboro's Cheyanne Seeley in Friday's game.The two senior posts also stepped up for the Wolves in the decisive fourth quarter, combining for 10 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three assists in the period.

Bullis had four points to go with four steals in the win. Self and senior Lindsay Barrow also each scored four points.

Green led all scorers with 23 points. Freshman guard Makenna Gambee added five points for the Spartans.

Tualatin picked up another win on Tuesday, as it bested Century 56-32 in a game played at Tualatin High School.

Heugly poured in 32 points in the victory while also pulling down double-digit rebounds. She went 10 for 11 from the free throw line and scored 19 of her points in the second half. Barrow added nine points.




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