Tigers turn it up against Parkrose
TIGARD — It wasn't that the Tigard High School basketball team played a bad first half.
After all, the Tigers were holding a 31-26 lead over Parkrose at the break.
It's just that they thought they could play better, and play with more energy.
And, in the second half, that seemed to be exactly what they did.
Tigard, turning up its intensity in the last two quarters, rolled to a 73-57 win over the Broncos in a Bill Gabel Invitational second-round game played Dec. 20 at Tigard High School.
"It was pretty good," said Tigard junior wing Stevie Schlabach, who led all scorers in the contest with 25 points. "We started kind of slow, but we picked it up."
"It was really fun," said Tigard junior wing Jazz Ross. "At halftime, we said that we needed to pick it up. We came together, and picked it up in the second half."
Parkrose moved to 0-6 on the season, to that point, with the loss.
With the win, coupled with a 62-46 victory over Sheldon in a tourney finale last Thursday, the Tigers improved to 4-5 on the season, in addition to giving the squad a perfect 3-0 mark at the Bill Gabel Invitational.
"We want to go 3-0 (at the tournament)," Ross said following the win over Parkrose. "We just want to come together more and bond."
"We're trying to get better, and win all three games," Schlabach said.
Tigard, which never trailed in the game with Parkrose, got off to a fast start, taking a quick 3-0 lead when Schlabach sank a three-pointer, coming off an assist from freshman Drew Carter, coming just 165 seconds into the game.
Another three-pointer by Schlabach, followed by a hoop on a foul-line jumper by Ross, upped the Tiger lead to 13-7 with 1:10 left in the opening period. But Parkrose, answering with a three-pointer by senior Leyson Farmer and a layup by freshman Damontae' Burns, trimmed the margin to 13-12 going into the second quarter.
The Broncos continued their rally, tying the game at 19-19 on a three-point basket by Burns, coming with 6:25 left before halftime.
Tigard responded right away, getting a three-pointer by Carter, coming off a pass from junior wing Carson Crist, giving the home team a 22-19 advantage with 5:58 remaining in the quarter. From there, Schlabach added a pair of baskets, and senior Jake Leavitt sank a three-pointer, giving the Tigers a 31-26 lead at halftime.
Parkrose got a three-pointer by senior Justin Tran to open their second half. But the rest of the third quarter belonged to the Tigers.
Tigard answered back right away, getting a pair of free throws by Schlabach, a layup by Ross off an assist by Schlabach and a short-range turnaround jumper by Carter, quickly upping the lead to 37-29 with 5:47 left in the period.
The Tigers didn't let up from there. Following a free throw by Parkrose senior Darnell Jones, Tigard went on an 8-0 run, which included four points by Schlabach, to push the margin to 45-30 with 3:57 left in the quarter.
Tigard, with Schlabach scoring 12 points in the quarter, and with Carter adding seven, went on to hold a 56-38 lead at the end of the period. For the quarter, Tigard made eight of 13 shots from the field, sank all eight of its free-throw attempts, outrebounded Parkrose 9-4 while having just one turnover.
The Tigers kept rolling in the final stanza. They opened their biggest lead of the game, at 69-43, when Schlabach sank a three-pointer with 4:43 left to play in the contest.
In the fourth quarter, junior Luke Ness and senior Kellen Horn each scored four points, as the Tigers cruised to the 73-57 victory.
"It was fun," Ross said of scoring in the 70s in the victory. "We hit some threes, and we can pass the ball around. We didn't have a bunch of practices with the whole team before, but we got it going."
"The practices have really helped," Schlabach said. "And it's helped being all together. We're starting to get going on transitions now. And we're scoring both outside and inside."
Schlabach, in addition to his game-high 25 points, also had eight rebounds and a pair of steals in the victory.
Carter scored 17 points and he also pulled down eight rebounds. Ross and Ness added eight points apiece for the Tigers.
Tigard, as a team, made 29 of 56 (51.8 percent) shots from the field, with six three-point baskets. The Tigers also sank nine of 12 free-throw attempts. Tigard outrebounded Parkrose by a 31-21 margin and had just eight turnovers for the contest.
Burns led the Broncos with 19 points, and Farmer scored 11.
Parkrose, as a team, made 20 of 44 shots from the field, with seven three-pointers, and 10 of 17 free-throw attempts.
Tigard will be back in action on Wednesday, when it travels to West Linn for a Three Rivers League opener starting at 7 p.m. at West Linn High School.