Tigard boys to reload and get rolling again
TIGARD — Sure, the Tigard High School boys basketball team graduated many key players from last year's squad.
The Tigers graduated four starters including Three Rivers League Player of the Year Stevie Schlabach, as well as other solid players, from the 2018-19 team that reached the Class 6A state tournament.
But, Tigard hopes, that won't matter too much this season.
"We are a young team having graduated nine players from last year's team," Tigard coach Shawn Alderman said. "We do have some good athletes though, and will look to use that to overcome our inexperience."
The Tigers do return a standout player from last year's squad, that finished in a tie for second place in the final Three Rivers League standings at 8-4, while going 17-11 on the season, in junior wing Drew Carter (6-foot-3). Last year, as a sophomore Carter was a first-team All-Three Rivers League selection.
"Drew is one of the most talented players around and should have another great year," Alderman said.
Tigard also returns senior point guard Max Lenzy (5-10) and junior point guard Spencer Kuffel (6-1) from last year's varsity roster, although they are both out of action due to injury.
Among the key full-time newcomers to the Tigard varsity include senior wing Steven Long (6-4) and junior wing Brett Moss (6-3).
"Steven and Brett are also good athletes who have the ability to have breakout years," Alderman said.
Other newcomers to the Tiger varsity include senior wing Michael Bailey (6-0), junior post Jake Wihtol (6-5), freshman wing Kalim Brown (6-0), freshman point guard Malik Brown (6-0), junior wing Brandon Kohlman (6-0), junior post Edward Beglaryan (6-2), senior post Dylan Berg (6-5) and junior post Robby Harbury (6-6).
"Drew Carter, Max Lenzy, and Steven Long provide some leadership," Alderman said. "Edward Beglaryan and Brett Moss will bring some toughness and energy. Look for Malik Brown and Kalim Brown to bring energy and hustle along with their natural abilities. Dylan Berg, Michael Bailey, Brandon Kohlman, and Jake Wihtol should will provide depth and energy."
As for the Three Rivers League this season, Tigard is again ready for plenty of strong competition ahead.
"West Linn and Lake Oswego are always tough, but the whole league will make every night a tough game," Alderman said.
The Tigers are off to a strong start to the season. The improved to 4-0 by scoring a 77-52 win over Parkrose in a first-round game of the Capitol City Classic, being played at Willamette University in Salem. Carter led a balanced Tigard scoring attack in that win with 20 points. Moss added 17 points, and Long had 16.
The Tigers will be back in action at the tournament today (Friday) when they face South Salem in a quarterfinal game starting at 6 p.m. If Tigard wins today, it will play either Sherwood or Rancho Christian, Calif., in a tourney semifinal game Saturday at 8 p.m. If Tigard loses today, it will face Sherwood or Rancho Christian in a consolation bracket game at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday. The tournament championship game is set for 7 p.m. on Monday.
The Tigers also have another tournament ahead of them, as they will be playing in the Les Schwab Eight, which will be held Jan. 2-4 at Liberty High School.
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