Tigers win the battle with Sherwood
TIGARD — When the Tigard and Sherwood high school girls basketball teams clash, there always seems to be a few things you can count on.
It's going to be a physical battle.
Every possession will be important.
Every single point will have to be earned.
You can also count on the Tigers and Lady Bowmen enjoying the competition.
And, for Tigard, there was something else to enjoy — a league-opening victory.
The Tigers got off to a 1-0 start to Three Rivers League play by powering their way to a 36-22 win over Sherwood in a TRL opener played Monday at Tigard High School.
"I just love playing Sherwood," said smiling Tigard junior guard Campbell Gray, who scored a game-high 20 points in the victory. "It's always fun to play against a rival."
"It was good," added Tigard junior guard Paige LaFountain. "We had less turnovers tonight. That was very big."
With the victory, the Tigers upped their overall record to 4-1. But, maybe more importantly for Tigard, is the 1-0 start to Three Rivers League play.
"The first one down, many more to come," Gray said.
The Lady Bowmen moved to 1-3 on the season with the setback.
"It was kind of rough," said Sherwood senior Lauren Scarvie, who tied for team-high honors with six points. "But we battled."
"We worked hard, and had some good moments," added Sherwood junior guard Alex Verkamp, who also scored six points for the Lady Bowmen. "It's always fun to play them, but losing sucks."
Tigard, which never trailed in Monday's game, grabbed a quick 3-0 lead, as sophomore Delaney Leavitt sank a three-point basket from the left corner, coming off a pass from LaFountain, coming just 24 seconds into the contest.
Sherwood had to try and battle back from there. The Lady Bowmen got a free throw by junior post Kaytlin Cook, a basket by Scarvie on a drive to the hoop and a foul-line jumper by junior Aubrie Emmons in the first quarter.
But Tigard, behind a three-pointer by LaFountain, and another long-range hoop by Leavitt, went on to claim a 12-5 lead at the end of the opening period.
Possessions then really started to matter in the second quarter.
Sherwood, with the first possession of the period, ate 1:22 off the clock before getting a basket on a drive by Verkamp. The Lady Bowmen, on their second possession of the quarter, got a three-point basket by Emmons, coming off an assist by Scarvie, trimming the Tigard lead to 12-10 with 5:36 left before halftime.
But, against Tigard's defense, Sherwood wouldn't be able to score again before the break.
Meanwhile, the Tigers, with some patient offense of their own, got a basket on a drive by Gray with 4:29 left in the period, a pull-up 10-foot jumper by Gray with 2:00 remaining in the period, and then a basket on a drive by LaFountain with 0:54 left before halftime, giving the home team an 18-10 lead at the intermission.
"We knew that we had to make the most out of our possessions," LaFountain said.
After scoring six straight points to end the second quarter, the Tigers scored six more in a row to open the third. Junior post Dani Lyons got things going after halftime, going 2 for 2 from the free-throw line after she was fouled on a follow-up shot.
Gray then sank a follow-up shot of her own, then she connected on a 12-foot jumper off a pass from sophomore guard Kennedy Brown, upping the Tigard lead to 24-10 with 5:06 left in the period.
Sherwood ended the Tigard run with a free throw by Verkamp and followed that up with a basket on a drive to the hoop by freshman Kylah Williams, trimming the margin to 24-13 with 2:18 left in the quarter.
But Gray scored five points in the final 1:30 of the period, helping the Tigers take a 29-15 lead into the fourth quarter.
Brown then scored of an assist by Leavitt to open the final stanza, giving the Tigers their biggest lead of the game, at 31-15.
Sherwood, still fighting, answered with back-to-back baskets by sophomore Julia Leitzinger and Scarvie, making the score 31-19 with 4:03 left in the contest.
But Gray, sinking her second three-pointer of the game, scored five points in the final 2:17, helping the Tigers wrap up their 36-22 victory.
"It was our defense and energy," Gray said of the key to the victory. "After halftime, our bench really got us fired up."
"And we did a good job pressuring their players," LaFountain said.
Gray, in addition to her 20 points, which came on an 8-for-15 shooting night from the field, also had nine rebounds, three steals and two assists.
Leavitt added six points for the Tigers. LaFountain had five, Lyons four and Brown scored two.
Tigard, as a team, made 13 of 35 shots from the field and five of seven free-throw attempts.
For Sherwood, Scarvie had two steals to go with her six points. Emmons scored five points, Williams and Leitzinger each scored two.
The Lady Bowmen, as a team, made nine of 24 shots from the field and three of seven free-throw attempts.
"We need to rep our defense and work on our rebounding," Scarvie said.
"We have to work our butts off in practice," Verkamp said.
Prior to Monday's league-opener, Sherwood picked up a 47-42 win over Franklin in a non-league game played Friday at Sherwood High School. Tigard lost 55-44 at Clackamas in a non-league game on Friday.
The Tigers will be back in action today (Thursday) when they play at La Salle in a non-league game starting at 7 p.m.
On Friday, Sherwood will host Newberg and Tigard will travel to Lakeridge for league contests starting at 7 p.m.
On Tuesday, the Lady Bowmen will host Hillsboro in a non-league game starting at 5:30 p.m.