Tigard boys fall to LO in key TRL matchup
LAKE OSWEGO — You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
And on Friday, it was the Lake Oswego boys basketball team that made the good first impression in its key Three Rivers League contest against Tigard.
The Lakers raced out to a 10-point lead at the start of the game, shrugged off the Tigers' best comeback attempts after that and sped to a 64-42 victory at Lake Oswego High School.
"We came out flat in the first half and the second half," said Tigard junior wing Stevie Schlabach, who led his team with 12 points on 5 of 12 shooting from the field and a 2 of 2 day at the foul line (along with three blocks, three assists and two steals). "We definitely need to play better and we can't turn the ball over 20 times when we're playing a good team and expect to come out with a win."
"We played, not poorly, but we didn't play our best on defense," added Tigard junior wing Jazz Ross, who finished with seven points on 3 of 5 shooting from the field (including one 3-pointer) and also had four assists. "We definitely should have got more stops. And like our coach said, they're a good team and if you play bad against a good team, you're going to get your butts kicked."
Tigard — which played Friday without 6-foot-6 senior post Austin Dufort due to illness — bounced back from the defeat in a very big way, scoring a 65-63 win over West Linn in a league game played Tuesday at Tigard High School.
Dufort, back in action, scored the winning basket, coming off an assist from Ross, with just 1.5 seconds left to play in the game.
Schlabach scored 25 points in the victory, with Dufort and freshman Drew Carter also reaching double digits in scoring.
With that win, Tigard moved to 6-2 in TRL play (10-7 overall), putting the Tigers in a tie with West Linn for second place in the standings.
Along with its 65-53 win at Newberg on Tuesday — the team's fourth straight — the Lakers improved to 7-1 in the TRL (13-5 overall) to move into sole possession of first place in the league standings.
"It was a great win (over Tigard)," said Lake Oswego senior wing J.R. Schilling, who led all scorers with 17 points on 7 of 13 shooting from the floor (including one 3-pointer) and a 2 of 2 day at the foul line. "We just did what we do on the home court — we haven't lost here yet — and it was a great win. It's a big-time game."
"That's kind of what we focus on on the home court with every team," said Laker senior post Shawn Elliott, who added 12 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the field and a 2 of 2 day at the free throw line (along with four steals and two assists). "It's just a huge advantage so we try to take advantage of it."
The Lakers opened Friday's game at a dead sprint, hitting four of their first six shots (including "threes" by Brandon Roberts and Schilling) and taking a 10-0 lead when Roberts took a Josh Angle pass and scored left-handed with 4 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Tigers, however, rallied back into contention after missing their first seven shots of the game. Schlabach knocked down three straight shots in less than two minutes, freshman Carter buried a 3-pointer, and sophomore Max Lenzy made a steal and converted on the fast break to bring his team within 14-12 with 42 seconds left in the period.
The Tigers were still within 21-15 when Schlabach drove the baseline and scored on a reverse with 5:32 to go in the half, but the Lakers scored 12 of the final 19 points in the half to grab a 33-24 lead. Schilling collected eight straight points in that stretch — six of those on back-to-back three-point plays — and junior Grant Fuson ended the run when he took an Angle pass and scored on the fast break.
The Tigers got an early "three" in the second half from senior Jake Leavitt to move within 35-27, but Lake Oswego closed the quarter on a 14-4 run to extend its edge to 49-31. Elliott scored on back-to-back possessions early in the period, Schilling hit twice and Angle added a 3-pointer to knock the Tigers back on their heels.
In that same span, Tigard made 2 of 4 shots but also turned the ball over five times in the final 6:16 of the frame.
"Another thing that hurt us was we turned the ball over a lot," Ross said. "We've got to play smarter. You can't do that against a team like that."
Tigard inched back within 49-36 when Ross took a Carter pass and buried a 3-pointer from the left corner with 5:15 left in the game, but Lake Oswego made sure the Tigers got no closer, ending the game on a 15-6 run highlighted by four more points from Elliott and a three-point play by Angle.
The Tigers will be back in action on Friday, when they host Sherwood in a league game starting at 7 p.m. On Tuesday, Tigard will play at Newberg at 7 p.m.