Tigard opens league with an 88-46 win over Newberg

by: DAN BROOD - ABOVE THE RIM -- Tigard High School senior point guard Bryan Berg slams home a dunk off a pass from senior Nick Kaelin in the opening minutes of the Tigers' 88-46 win over Newberg. TIGARD — The Tigard High School boys basketball team seems to know a thing or two about great starts.

The Tigers got off to a flying start in their game with Newberg on Friday.

And, somewhat because of that, they got off to a winning start in Pacific Conference play.

Tigard, the defending conference champion, opened defense of that title by running to an 88-46 win over Newberg in a conference opener played at Tigard High School.

“It was a really good night,” Tigard senior point guard Bryan Berg said after the game. “We really played as a team.”by: DAN BROOD - JETT JUMPER -- Tigard senior Jett Even (4) connects on a jump shot during the Tigers' win over Newberg.

“We showed what we can do,” Tigard senior wing Elijah Simon said.

“It was a good start to league,” Tigard coach Shawn Alderman said. “We had a lot of energy tonight. We got off to a good start and kept it going until the end of the game.”

Newberg fell to 3-7 on the season to that point with the setback. Tigard, which has played a very tough non-league slate, improved its overall record to 5-5 at that point with the victory.

But, right now for Tigard, which went 14-0 in Pacific Conference games last year, staying perfect in conference play again this year is the important thing.

“That’s the goal,” Simon said of another 14-0 conference record. “We need to play with confidence and trust each other.”

The Tigers likely got a confidence boost from Friday’s league opener.

They also provided some high-flying highlights in the opening minutes of the contest. Tigard, in the first two minutes of the game, got alley-oop dunks from senior post Joel Johnson and from Berg — both coming off pinpoint passes from senior wing Nick Kaelin.

Those two dunks, combined with layups by Simon and Johnson, gave Tigard an 8-1 lead with 5 minutes and 39 seconds left to play in the first quarter.

Newberg, behind some strong three-point shooting, was able to stay close. But Tigard, with senior wing A.J. Hotchkins scoring seven points in the final 5:06 of the period, went on to hold a 19-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Newberg, continuing its hot outside shooting, was able to close the gap early in the second quarter. The visitors got a pair a three-pointers from junior Jacob Sundquist early in the period to cut the Tigard lead to 21-18.

But the Tigers responded in a big way, with a 10-0 run.

Simon had a follow-up basket to start the run. Hotchkins followed with a basket on a drive to the hoop. Berg then closed the run with back-to-back three-pointers of his own, giving Tigard a 31-18 advantage with 5:14 remaining in the first half.

by: DAN BROOD - FIGHTING FOR IT -- Tigard High School senior Elijah Simon (12) battles Newberg's Jacoby Wolfe (left) and BJ Ulloa for the ball during Friday's Pacific Conference opener. Tigard got an 88-46 victory. After Newberg got a basket from sophomore BJ Ulloa, Berg was at it again. He sank a pair of free throws and followed that up with a quick drive to the basket for two more points. Tigard senior Jett Even followed that up with a foul-line jumper to make the score 37-20 with 1:45 left in the period.

Newberg, getting its sixth three-pointer of the first half, coming on a shot by Ulloa, cut the margin to 37-24 at the intermission.

But, as well as Tigard played in the first half, it was nothing compared to what the home team did during the second half.

That spectacular half of play started with a 24-point third quarter, where Tigard made nine of 13 shots from the field on its way to taking a 61-39 lead at the end of the period.

Hotchkins scored five points in the quarter. Johnson and Simon had four apiece and Even sank a three-pointer.

The quarter ended with Tigard senior Troy Scott going 3 for 3 from the foul line with no time on the clock after he was fouled on a buzzer-beating three-point attempt.

That was just the start of things for Scott.

Scott thrilled the Tigard crowd, and the Tigard players, in the fourth quarter. He sank four three-pointers in the period, scoring a total of 14 points.

Berg added six points in the quarter and senior Daniel Webster sank a three-pointer as Tigard closed out the 88-46 win.

In the second half alone, Tigard scored 51 points on 18 for 28 shooting from the field, with six three-pointers. Tigard also outrebounded Newberg 19-7 in the DAN BROOD - UP FOR TWO -- Tigard High School senior A.J. Hotchkins (right) goes up to the basket during the Tigers' 88-46 win over Newberg.

For the game, Tigard shot at a 33-for-51 (64.7 percent) clip from the field while outrebounding Newberg by a 33-15 margin.

“Everyone played well,” Alderman said. “We did a real good job in transition.”

Berg led all scorers in the contest with 23 points on an 8-for-10 shooting night from the field. He also had four rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals.

“Bryan was special tonight,” Alderman said.

Scott added 17 points, all coming in the final eight minutes of the contest.

“He can shoot,” Alderman said with a smile.

“Troy got everyone in it,” Simon said.

“That was really fun,” Berg said.

Hotchkins scored 14 points, Simon had 10 and Johnson had nine points to go with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots.

Sundquist led Newberg with 14 points and Ulloa added 12.

Tigard picked up another win on Tuesday, as it bested Glencoe 78-43 in a conference game played at Glencoe High School.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they face rival Tualatin in a key conference game starting at 7:15 p.m. at Tualatin High School. On Tuesday, Tigard will host McMinnville in a 6:45 p.m. conference tilt.

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