Tigard girls look to learn from loss at Grant
PORTLAND — For the Tigard High School girls basketball team, things still seem to be a work in progress.
The young Tigers seem to have some bright moments, and they also have things they need to learn from.
There certainly seemed to be plenty of things for Tigard to learn from in its game at Grant on Tuesday.
The Tigers, struggling with turnovers early on, fell 73-55 to the Generals in the non-league contest.
"We went too fast in the beginning," said Tigard senior guard Kennedy Brown, who led the Tigers with 16 points. "We need to calm down. We all need to work on that. There are mistakes that we shouldn't be making. We need to relax more on offense."
"I think this game showed that we still have a lot to work on," said Tigard sophomore post Sarah Lamet, who had eight rebounds in the contest. "There's something we can learn from every game."
With the win, Grant, out of the Portland Interscholastic League, improved to 5-5 on the season. Tigard moved to 1-8 with the setback.
"We're thinking we should all come together," Brown said. "You should see us in practice. We just need to get that going in the games."
The Tigers got off to a promising start to Tuesday's road contest. Baskets by senior Delaney Leavitt, junior Ajae Hardman and Lamet gave Tigard a 6-3 lead with 5 minutes and 47 seconds left to play in the first quarter. The Tiger lead was at 9-6 after Leavitt sank a 3-pointer with 4:56 remaining in the opening period.
But that's when turnovers started to plague Tigard. The Tigers had 11 turnovers in the period, and Grant took advantage, finishing the quarter with a 10-0 run, which included back-to-back steals and layups by junior Madyson Roach, giving the Generals a 23-14 lead at the end of the opening period.
Grant continued its run early in the second quarter. The Generals scored the first five points of the period, pushing the margin to 28-14 with 5:53 left before halftime.
The Grant lead was at 35-19 after junior post Schulyer Berry sank a short-range turnaround shot with 4:02 remaining in the period. The Tigers tried to battle back. Brown had back-to-back baskets, the first coming off a pass from Leavitt, and Hardman scored on a layup off another Leavitt assist, helping Tigard cut the lead to 39-25 at halftime.
The Tigers tried to battle back in the third quarter. A pair of free throws by Brown, baskets by Lamet and Hardman, and four straight points by Leavitt, including a 3-pointer, helped Tigard cut the lead to 42-35 with 3:10 left in the period.
Grant answered with four straight points to quickly push the lead back to double digits, at 46-35. But the Tigers fought back again. Brown scored four straight points, and junior Rachel Denham added a free throw, trimming the margin to 47-40 with 37 seconds left in the third quarter.
"We played as a team," Brown said of the Tigard rallies. "We played together and got in rhythm."
"We shared the ball and got better shots," Lamet said.
Grant scored the final five points of the period to take a 52-40 lead into the fourth quarter.
Tigard freshman Hailey Shimojima scored on a drive to the basket to open the scoring in the final stanza. But Grant would then score 13 unanswered points, with Berry having seven of those points, to open up a 65-42 advantage with 4:25 left to play in the contest.
Tigard got five points from sophomore Kaylin Kisor, four from senior Kassiah Moore and three from senior Emily Paulson in the final 3:27 of the game to trim the final margin to 73-55.
"I think we just need to calm down more," Brown said.
Brown had four steals and four rebounds to go with her team-high 16 points. Leavitt had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists. Hardman also scored nine points. Lamet had six points to go with her seven rebounds.
Tigard, as a team, made 20 of 43 shots from the field, with four 3-pointers, and 11 of 23 free-throw attempts. The Tigers was hurt by 29 turnovers for the contest.
Berry led all scorers with 23 points. Roach added 11 points for the Generals.
Grant, as a team, made 25 of 58 shots from the field, with three 3-pointers, and 20 of 27 free-throw attempts.
The Tigers will be back in action on Friday, when they play at West Salem in a non-league game starting at 7 p.m. Tigard will open Three Rivers League play on Tuesday with a 7 p.m. game at Canby.
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