Tigard boys on fire to open the season
TIGARD — It could be said that the Tigard High School boys basketball team is off to a hot start to the season.
Well, the Tigers just might have ignited a fire.
In a game that halted, and later resumed, midway through the third quarter due to a fire scare, the Tigers ran to a 74-47 win over David Douglas in the championship game of the Bill Gabel Invitational, played Saturday at Tigard High School.
"It was good. We played great together," said Tigard junior wing Drew Carter, who scored a game-high 24 points. "As a young team, we were flying around. We're really athletic, and, this year, I think we'll play a lot quicker."
"It went pretty well. It was a good start to the season," Tigard senior post Edward Beglaryan said. "We have a young team, and we came out strong and we competed. The twins (freshmen Kalim and Malik Brown) are going to be a key part for us, and I'm really looking forward to our season."
With the loss, David Douglas moved to 1-1 on the season. Tigard, which opened the invitational on Friday by scoring an 81-57 win over Newberg, improved to 2-0 with the victory.
"It means a lot," Carter said. "We're getting our feet wet, and getting our confidence up. We're looking forward to the rest of our season."
"It was exciting to start off the season on our home court, with our crowd," Beglaryan said. "We got a lot of support, especially yesterday. A lot of the fans came out."
The Tigers got off to a roaring start in Saturday's invitational title tilt. Beglaryan sandwiched a pair of 3-point baskets, one coming off an assist from Kalim Brown, the other off a pass from Carter, around a follow-up basket by senior Steven Long, giving Tigard a 13-4 lead with 3 minutes and 34 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
"The guy was really sagging off, so I just had to shoot it a couple of times," Beglaryan said of his 3-pointers. "I was really feeling it. It was a good start to the game, and I was excited."
Long and junior Jake Wihtol each sank a 3-pointer later in the quarter, and Carter added a pair of baskets on short-range jumpers late in the period, giving the Tigers a 23-16 lead going into the second quarter.
David Douglas closed the gap to 27-22 when senior Jermaine Robinson scored on a drive to the hoop with 3:42 left before halftime. But Tigard responded with a 3-point play by junior Brett Moss, a pair of free throws by Long and a 16-foot jumper by Carter, pushing the lead to 34-24 with 6 seconds left in the second quarter. The Scots got a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by junior Trenton Templeton to make the score 34-27 at halftime.
Tigard then took off in the third quarter. Back-to-back baskets by Beglaryan and Moss, both coming off assists from Long, followed by a 3-point play by Carter gave the Tigers a 44-28 advantage with 4:11 left in the period.
Long would then score off a baseline drive to give Tigard a 46-30 lead with 3:38 remaining in the period.
Just a few seconds after that, with 3:22 left to be played in the quarter, an announcement was made that there was a fire in the building, and that the gym needed to be evacuated immediately. With players, fans, coaches and officials all waiting outside, firemen checked the building before giving the OK that everyone could reenter the gym.
"That was pretty interesting," Beglaryan said. "But we stayed plugged into the game. We kept talking about what needed to improve on, and we came out and finished off the game. We kept our focus."
After about a 25 minute delay, play resumed.
Carter scored six points in the final 3:18 of the period, and Wihtol scored on a layup off a pass from Kalim Brown, giving the Tigers a 54-35 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Moss then scored six points in the final stanza. Long scored four and Malik and Kalim Brown each had three, as Tigard closed out the 74-48 win, giving the Tigers the tourney title.
"This was great," said Carter, who scored 27 points in the Tigers' tourney-opening win over Newberg. "We had a blast."
In Saturday's victory, Carter scored his game-high 24 points on a 9-for-17 shooting night from the field.
"I'm just taking what the other team gives me," he said.
Long and Moss scored 13 points apiece. Beglaryan had nine points, and Wihtol scored five.
Tigard, as a team, made 28 of 52 shots from the field, with four 3-pointers, and 14 of 16 free-throw attempts. The Tigers also outrebounded David Douglas by a 27-18 margin.
"We're looking to win games," Carter said. "We're working as hard as we can, and I think our team can go farther than other people expect."
"I know we'll give 100 percent each game, and what ever happens, happens," Beglaryan said. "We'll leave everything we have on the court this year."
Sophomore Josiah Collins led a balanced David Douglas scoring attack with eight points. The Scots made 20 of 49 shots from the field, with one 3-pointer, and seven of 14 free-throw attempts.
The Tigers will be back in action on Tuesday, when they host West Salem in a non-league game starting at 7 p.m. On Dec. 18, Tigard will open play at the Capitol City Classic, being held at Willamette University in Salem, with a 4 p.m. game against Parkrose.
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