Wolves take off in win over Lincoln
LAKE OSWEGO — The Tualatin High School boys basketball team may field a young squad this season.
But the Timberwolves sure seem to be athletic, and they can score a lot of points in a hurry.
They proved that in a big way on Friday.
Tualatin, scoring 13 unanswered points in the final 2 minutes and 45 seconds of the second quarter, quickly pulled away from Lincoln on its way to getting a 62-41 win over the Cardinals in a first-round game of the Lakeside Tournament, played at Lakeridge High School.
"We can push it in the transition," said Tualatin senior guard Sam Noland, who scored a game-high 17 points in the victory. "We've got a lot of young kids, young talent, and we're really athletic. I think that, if we get stops, get the ball and push it up court quickly, we can score a lot."
"That's something we can do, generate a lot of points with our defense," said Tualatin senior wing John Miller, who threw down three dunks on his way to scoring 15 points. "That's our mentality, that our defense is going to lead to the points that we need, instead of just going one-on-one ball the whole time."
With the loss, Lincoln moved to 1-5 on the season to that point. Tualatin improved to 3-2, at that point, with the victory.
"It went pretty well," Miller said. "We played as a team, and we know we can get better. We can definitely put things together, practice hard and put things together, get things rolling."
Lincoln got off to a strong start in Friday's tourney opener. The Cardinals took a 9-6 lead when sophomore Henri Perrin scored on a layup coming with 4:38 left in the first quarter.
Tualatin answered back right away. Noland sank a 3-pointer off a pass from sophomore Peter Burke to tie the game at 9-9. The Wolves followed that up with a layup by Miller, following a steal by sophomore Noah Ogoli, and a 3-pointer by junior Jackson Passaglia from the right corner coming with three seconds left in the quarter, giving Tualatin a 14-13 lead at the end of the opening period.
The Wolves opened the second quarter with a steal and layup by Passaglia, a basket on a drive to the hoop by sophomore Malik Ross and a follow-up basket by senior Jeremy Lund, giving Tualatin a 20-16 lead with 3:38 left before halftime.
Lincoln would cut the lead to 20-19 on a 3-pointer by senior Ben Weiss, coming with 3:03 remaining in the second quarter. But that's when the Wolves really caught fire.
Ogoli sank a 3-pointer off a pass from Noland, who followed with his own 3-pointer, off an assist by Ross. Miller than sank the Wolves' third 3-pointer in a span of 1:18, giving Tualatin a 29-19 lead with 1:27 left in the period.
Miller followed that up with his first dunk of the game, and Ross had a basket on a drive to the hoop with seven seconds remaining in the quarter, giving Tualatin a 33-19 halftime lead.
"We started out slow, but we picked it up, definitely, in the second quarter," Noland said. "We got a big boost."
The Wolves then opened the third quarter with a pair of free throws by Ross and basket by Noland, giving Tualatin a 17-0 run, and a 37-19 advantage with 7:07 left in the period.
Noland would sink a long 3-pointer, coming off a pass by Passaglia later in the quarter, and Miller closed out the period with a steal and breakaway dunk, giving Tualatin a 45-29 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Miller started the final period by making a 14-foot turnaround jumper, coming off a pass from Ross. Ogoli followed with a steal and layup. Then, after a steal and pass by Ross, Miller slammed down his third dunk of the game, upping the Tualatin lead to 51-31 with 6:11 left to play in the contest.
"That was fun," Miller said of the dunks. "After that first one, I didn't think I'd get another. And, after then second one, I definitely didn't think I would get another one. Then I was like, 'OK, I can be pretty happy with that.'"
Noland scored five points later in the period, including another long 3-pointer, as Tualatin closed out the 62-41 victory.
"We're young, and we're building back up, but we've got a lot of young kids that can really play basketball," Miller said. "We have a lot of potential."
Noland sank four 3-pointers on his way to scoring his 17 points. He also had three assists. Miller had a pair of steals to go with his 15 points. Ogoli scored eight points. Ross had six points and four assists, and Passaglia had five points.
Tualatin, as a team, made 24 of 47 shots from the field, with eight 3-pointers, and six of 10 free-throw attempts. The Wolves also had just seven turnovers in the contest.
"We're all pretty close already, especially with those sophomore kids. We've been playing basketball together for a long time. But we still have a long ways to go," Noland said. "We have a lot of potential and a lot of talent. We need to find what works for us, and run with that."
"It's going to take time," Miller said. "We need to get that chemistry going, and keep working harder."
Perrin led Lincoln with 11 points. Senior Jake Berry added 10 points, and senior Matt Phillipi had six for the Cardinals.
Lincoln, as a team, made 15 of 36 shots from the field, with four 3-pointers, and seven of eight free-throw attempts.
On Saturday at the tournament, Tualatin fell 64-50 to Oregon City. On Sunday, the Wolves roared back to score a 92-47 win over Lakeridge in the tournament third-place game.
The Wolves will be back in action on Friday, when they play at Beaverton in a non-league game starting at 7:15 p.m. On Saturday, Tualatin will travel to Mountainside for a 7 p.m. non-league contest.
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