Oregon City comes out on top in defensive battle with Tigard, 43-28
Oregon City's girls basketball team closed out the first half of Three Rivers League play on a positive note, pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 42-28 home win Wednesday over Tigard.
Mia Martineau finished with a team-high eight points, and Katie Kathan, Jalissa Lugo, and Emmaly Welch added seven each as the Pioneers (13-4, 5-2 Three Rivers) remained tied with St. Mary's Academy for second place, one game behind league-leading West Linn.
"We played OK," Pioneers coach Tiffani Traver said. "It wasn't one of our best games, but we got through it. And that's the thing about his conference is you've really got to be ready every, single game."
Tigard's Sarah Lamet led all scorers with 12 points, and Kennedy Brown had seven points for the Tigers (13-3, 2-4), who lost their second in a row.
Both teams poured most of their energy into defense in a low-scoring first half that saw four lead changes and ended with Oregon City leading 13-12.
In the third quarter, Tigard trailed 20-15 when Delaney Leavitt hit four consecutive free throws and Lamet knocked down a short jumper from the right of the lane to give the Tigers a 21-20 lead with 3:15 to play in the quarter.
Oregon City answered with a 10-2 run that ended with Kathan driving the left baseline for a lay-up that gave the Pioneers a 30-23 lead with less than a minute to play in the third quarter.
"We knew we had to come out ready to go," Traver said. "We knew Tigard was going to play a zone defense — we get zoned all the time, anyway, so we're used to that — but it was just a matter of working the ball around a little bit and finding good shots.
"We missed a lot of easy ones in the first half and the we shot much better in the second half."
The Pioneers dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring Tigards 13-3 as they went 11 for 14 from the free-throw line and used a full-court press to force nine Tigers' turnovers in the period.
"Our girls came out playing really hard, we were making stops on defense, and then we were able to score at the other end," Tigers coach Mallory Goldammer said. "But then halfway through, we just kind of let down on defense and we weren't really talking.
"And that's what dictates how the game is played a lot of times — talking on defense and being able to make stops."
Tigard's 28 points were a season low for the Tigers, whose previous low came in a 51-20 non-conference loss to Liberty.
"We just have to keep our heads up," Goldammer said. "Every game is competitive in the Three Rivers League and any team can win on any given night, so we just have to stay prepared.
"If there's a loss like tonight, we have to turn the page and go play Canby on Friday."
For Oregon City, Traver has been pleased with the improvement she has seen her team make through the first half of league play.
"The second half is going to be just as tough as the first," Traver said. "The advantage we have is that the tough teams — West Linn, Canby, St. Mary's — they come to us, so that's going to help us out a little bit. But it's not easy, no matter what.
"We're ready, I think. The girls gained a lot of confidence from that West Linn game and now believe in themselves and know that they're capable of competing with the top teams in the state. Using that confidence and that energy and taking into the second half is definitely going to help."
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