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Tualatin has a big second quarter, and then turns to its defense to wrap up the win

DAN BROOD - Tualatin junior Kassidy Lewis (left) and junior Anny Withers keep the pressure on Silverton sophomore ellie Schmitz during last week's game. The Timberwolves scored a 43-39 victory. TUALATIN — The Tualatin High School girls basketball team really needed, and really wanted, a victory.

But, as the midway point in the second quarter neared, it certainly didn't look like the Timberwolves were going to get that win.

However, things changed. They changed quickly, and they changed in a big way.

Tualatin, after trailing Silverton 18-11 in the second quarter, outscored the Foxes 20-5 over the final 5 minutes and 42 seconds on the period, and then turned to its defense to hold on in the end, to get a 43-39 victory in a non-league game played last Thursday at Tualatin High School.

"This is huge," Tualatin junior Anna Withers said after the win. "Silverton is a top (Class) 5A team. We knew they'd be tough. We needed a good win like this."

"That was awesome," said Tualatin freshman post Natalie Lathrop, who scored 10 points during the Wolves' second-quarter comeback. "Our practices have been really good. We've been strong. And, to have it all come together in a game like this is all what we needed."

Silverton moved to 5-3 on the season with the loss. Tualatin improved its overall record to 4-2, at that point, with the victory.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin High School junior Natali Denning (right) looks to drive past Silverton's Jori Paradis during last week's non-league game. The Timberwolves scored a 43-39 victory. "We're playing as a team, and sharing the ball," Withers said. "We're sharing the ball a lot."

Still, the Wolves got off to a slow start in last Thursday's contest.

Silverton jumped out to an 11-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, with senior Maija Girardi scoring all five first-quarter points for Tualatin.

The Foxes kept control early in the second quarter, upping their lead to 18-11 on a basket by senior wing Vanessa Meraz.

But that's when things started turning Tualatin's way — in a big way.

Lathrop started an 8-0 Timberwolf run with a basket on a short-range bank shot. She then followed that with a follow-up basket. Girardi then scored on a drive to the hoop and Withers scored on a layup, off a pass by freshman Kasidy Javernick, giving Tualatin a 19-18 lead with 4:14 left to play in the period.

The Wolves didn't stop there. Girardi, junior Kassidy Lewis and Withers all sank three-point baskets later in the quarter, and the 6-foot-3 Lathrop added three more points, helping Tualatin claim a 31-23 halftime lead.

"We really started to play like a team," Withers said of the Wolves' second-quarter run.

"We came out with a lot of energy," Lathrop said. "We really wanted it, and we tried really hard."

Still, despite the impressive second quarter performance, Tualatin needed to hold off Silverton in the second half in order to get the win.

DAN BROOD - Tualatin senior Mikah Springer (left) controls the ball during the Wolves' win over Silverton.The Wolves, getting a basket on a drive by Withers, followed by a three-pointer by senior Mikah Springer, off a pass by Withers, went up 38-31 with 2:17 left in third quarter.

But Silverton closed the period with sophomore Riley Traeger converting a three-point play with just 1.3 seconds showing on the clock, cutting the Tualatin lead to 39-35 going into the fourth quarter.

That's where things really got intense.

Neither team was able to score in the final stanza until Silverton sophomore Jocelyn Ames sank a three-pointer with 4:42 left in the game, cutting the Tualatin lead to 39-38.

The Foxes then had a chance to take the lead, after junior Jori Paradis was fouled with 3:06 remaining to play. But Paradis missed a foul shot, on the front end of a one-and-one bonus situation, and Lathrop grabbed the rebound.

Girardi then scored on a back-door layup, off a pass inside from Lathrop, giving the Wolves a 41-38 advantage with 2:57 left to play in the game.

The teams then traded turnovers over the next two minutes of action, with Silverton senior Maggie Roth missing on a layup attempt, after coming up with a steal, and Lathrop grabbed the rebound with 1:00 left to play.

With possession, Tualatin worked the clock all the way down to 0:28.0, when Withers was fouled, sending her to the foul line in a one-and-one bonus situation.

Withers calmly sank both of her free throws, upping the Tualatin lead to 43-38.

"I was a little nervous, I'm not going to lie," Withers said with a smile.

Paradis was fouled with 19.0 seconds left to play. She made her first free throw, making the score 43-39, and missed her second, with Roth snaring the rebound. The Foxes then took four shots in the final 12 seconds, the first being a three-point attempt by Ames, which was blocked by Girardi, but all four of those attempts were off the mark, leaving the Wolves with a 43-39 victory.

DAN BROOD - The Timberwolves walk off the court following their victory over Silverton."We kind of rushed a bit at the end," Withers said. "But we all came together and stayed calm on defense."

Girardi led the Wolves in the contest with 15 points. She scored 13 of her points in the first half.

Lathrop scored 10 of her 11 points in the second quarter. In the second half of the game, she had six rebounds, two blocked shots and an assist.

"I'm still learning the different ways that different people play," the freshman said. "I'm definitely having fun."

Withers added nine points. Lewis and Springer each scored three. Junior Natali Denning, despite battling foul trouble, had four rebounds and a blocked shot in the second half.

Meraz led a balanced Silverton scoring attack with 10 points. Ames had nine for the Foxes.

Tualatin, on Friday, fell 60-43 to Westview in a non-league game played Friday at Westview High School.

Tualatin, today (Thursday) and Friday, will continue play at the Elite 8 Invitational, being held at Tualatin High School. The Wolves were scheduled to face West Salem in a tournament opener on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press.

If Tualatin won on Wednesday, it will face either Liberty or Sheldon today (Thursday) at 4:30 p.m. If Tualatin lost on Wednesday, it will face either Liberty or Sheldon today at 1:30 p.m. The tournament championship game will be played Friday at 6 p.m.

The Wolves, who are 1-1 in Three Rivers League play, return to league action on Wednesday, when they host St. Mary's Academy (0-2 in TRL games) in a game starting at 7 p.m. at Tualatin High School.

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