Sherwood gets offensive in 76-57 win over Forest Grove
Try as you might, sometimes you just get outplayed.
Despite a relatively well-played opening quarter, along with a good fight for the bulk of the second, Forest Grove ultimately succumbed to a better — and at least on this night — a more well-oiled machine in a 76-57 loss to No. 13-ranked Sherwood Friday night, Feb. 14, at Forest Grove High School.
Led by junior guard Caden Davis' 14 points, the Bowmen shot better than 50 percent from the field and a whopping 45 percent from behind the arc to turn what was a closely fought first half game, into what amounted to a blowout by the end of the third quarter. But despite the lopsided final score, Forest Grove head coach Greg Evers was pleased with his team's effort and thought they were really just a play or two away from making it a competitive game.
"I thought we played pretty well most of the night, but you can't miss however many layups we missed and stay in a game with a team like that," Evers said. "To beat a team like that, you've got to not only have a special effort, but you've got to have a special performance too."
And Sherwood was good.
In addition to Davis, four Bowmen scored between nine and 12 points, and in all, the visitors made 13 3-pointers en route to their 19 point win. Sherwood seemed to always be in rhythm offensively, and the Vikings struggled to stay in front of what amounted to an awful lot of Bowmen long-range shooters.
"They're such good passers and they can all handle the ball," Evers said. "They're deceptive, they can drive, and they move the ball, so it's hard to disrupt their offense. They don't really force it and they always seem to have someone to kick to, so it's really just hard to slow them down."
Forest Grove point guard Guy Littlefield appreciated what Sherwood brought to the table, but was equally disappointed in how he and his team played in areas, in a game he felt should've been more competitive.
"It should've been a lot closer, "Littlefield said. "We missed a lot of layups around the rim and had multiple possessions where we allowed them offensive rebounds. I think we were all a little unhappy because we knew we could've done better.
"Sherwood's a really good team and we played hard, but it just wasn't good enough."
Both teams started hot, with Sherwood taking an 18-13 first quarter lead when senior guard Jamison Guerra ended the quarter with a late 3-pointer. Forest Grove got all 13 of their points from Littlefield, along with senior wing Zach Burke who scored six, on two shots from behind the arc.
The Bowmen made it a seven point game immediately starting the second quarter when Blake Jensen connected from in close, but the Vikings answered and cut the lead to four when Ayden Case hit a three to make it 20-16.
The spread hovered between four and eight points for much of the remainder of the half, but when Forest Grove missed on a lay-up attempt late that would've cut the lead to six, Sherwood made them pay by rattling-off the final six points of the quarter to take a 39-25 halftime lead.
"That was a big stretch," Evers said. "We were right there, but again, those missed lay-ups just killed us tonight."
Sherwood wasted little time stretching the lead in the third quarter, building a 19 point lead with scores from Jensen, Guerra, and sophomore Baydon Kullowatz, along with a continual onslaught of threes from senior Nate Merrill, who along with Davis tallied four 3-pointers apiece.
It was more of the same as the Bowmen took a 61-36 lead to the fourth, and Forest Grove never got closer than 19 the remainder of the way.
Now, with the Vikings dropping into fifth place in the Pacific Conference, two games behind third place Century and a bid into the state playoffs, it's now or never for Forest Grove if they want a shot at the postseason. With three games remaining — all against teams that the Vikings have either already beaten or in Century's case lost to in a competitive game — it's become imperative they win-out — something Littlefield thinks they can do.
"They're all winnable games," the point guard said. "I think if we practice hard, execute and stay away from these slow starts that have been troubling us, we've got a good chance."
"They're all teams that we think we should beat," Evers said. "We already beat Liberty, we already beat Glencoe, and Century played one of their better games when they beat us. But we'll have to play well to beat any of them, and we know that."
Littlefield led the Vikings with 18 points and seven rebounds. Other Forest Grove scorers included: Case 12, Burke 9, James Irvine 6, Braden Hudgins 4, Lucas Ellington and Jake Steltenpohl 3 apiece, and Kaden Clute 2.
Sherwood scorers included: Davis 14, Guerra 12, Merrill 12, Jensen 12, Clay Peden 9, Kullowatz and Asher Krauel 5 apiece, Dallin Marker and Bjorn Bergstrom 2 apiece, and Joe Conrow 1.
Forest Grove is set to host Glencoe this Tuesday, Feb. 18, then will travel to both Century and Liberty the following week to close out the season.
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