Basketball: Tualatin girls get long-awaited win over rival Tigard
It's been a long time coming for the Tualatin High School girls basketball.
Lately, year in, and year out, the Timberwolves haven't been able to come up with a victory against rival Tigard.
But, finally, and while it wasn't easy by any means, Tualatin was able to break through.
The Wolves, fighting off a furious Tigard fourth-quarter rally, scored a 39-34 win over the Tigers in a Three Rivers League game played in front of a large, loud crowd Friday at Tigard High School.
"Tualatin and Tigard, we've always had a really strong rivalry, and it's been a long time since we beat them," said Tualatin junior post Natalie Lathrop, who pulled down 12 rebounds in the victory. "So it was really cool to beat them at their home, to come here and win."
"It was big," said Tualatin junior guard Kasidy Javernick, who had three steals in the win. "We haven't beat them in awhile, and it was nice to get it on their court."
With the loss, Tigard moved to 2-4 in TRL games (3-13 overall), putting the Tigers in a tie with Lakeridge for sixth place in the league standings.
With the victory, its first against Tigard since the 2011-12 season, Tualatin improved to 3-3 in TRL play (12-4 overall), putting the Timberwolves in a tie with Canby for third place in the league standings.
"This was awesome," Lathrop said. "I've played many games against Tigard, and we all know these girls, and their team, so it was really cool to get a win."
"This was really fun," Javernick said. "We haven't beat them in awhile. We know most of them, so it was nice to play against them. Both teams really wanted it."
That showed right from the start.
Lathrop scored the first three points of the game. Javernick and Aurora Davis followed with 3-point baskets, both coming off assists from junior Sidney Dering, giving the Wolves a 9-2 lead with 4 minutes and 18 seconds left to play in the first quarter.
Tigard came storming back. Tiger senior guard Kennedy Brown sank a 3-pointer off a pass from senior Delaney Leavitt, sophomore post Sarah Lamet scored on a baseline drive, and Brown, after being fouled with just 0.2 seconds left to play in the quarter, went 3 for 3 from the foul line, cutting Tualatin's lead to 11-10 at the end of the opening period.
The Wolves, getting back-to-back baskets from Lathrop and Davis, quickly regained momentum to start the second quarter. The Tualatin defense then took charge, limiting the Tigers to just five points in the period — coming on two free throws by Leavitt, one by freshman Karen Spadafora and a steal and layup by freshman Hailey Shimojima.
"It was really good," Javernick said of the Wolves' defensive effort. "We were really aggressive, and it's nice to know that we have Natalie having our backs if we miss something, so we can take the risks."
Meanwhile, Tualatin ended the quarter with a basket on a 13-foot jumper by senior Sophie Bennett, coming off an assist by Dering, and a pair of free throws from Lathrop, giving the Wolves a 21-15 halftime lead.
Tualatin kept rolling early in the third quarter. Javernick opened the period with a 3-pointer from the right wing. Dering and Lathrop would add back-to-back baskets, giving the Wolves a 29-17 advantage with 2:12 left in the period.
Tigard, getting hoops from Spadafora and Lamet, trimmed the margin to 31-21 going into the fourth quarter.
That's where the Tigers really came to life.
The Tigard defense forced Tualatin into a handful of turnovers to start the period, and the Tigers took advantage. Lamet had a pair of baskets, and Spadafora added a short-range banker, quickly trimming the lead to 31-27. Brown then came up with a steal, and she drilled a 3-pointer from the right wing, and, suddenly, the Tualatin lead was at 31-30 with 4:24 left to play in the game.
The Tigers then took their first lead of the contest, at 32-31, when Lamet sank a turnaround jump shot with 3:31 remaining to play.
But Tualatin didn't panic.
"At that point, we realized that we could win this game, and that we've still got it," Lathrop said. "We knew we just had to play our hearts out in the little bit of time that we have left in the game."
"We were thinking that we had to clean up some stuff, take good shots and get our plays together," Javernick said.
Tualatin quickly regained the lead, at 33-32, when Javernick sank a jumper with 3:31 left to play. Dering followed with a basket of her own, giving the Wolves a 35-32 advantage with 1:53 left to play.
"Yeah, that was big for us," Javernick said of the back-to-back hoops.
From there, Javernick sank a foul shot, and Dering added three free throws in the final 15 seconds of the game, wrapping up the long-awaited 39-34 win for the Wolves.
"We just got out on threes, grabbed rebounds, secured them, and we didn't let them get second-chance points," Javernick said. "We made sure that we completed every play like we needed to."
Dering led all scorers in the contest with 14 points, including 10 in the second half. She also had four rebounds and three assists. Lathrop had nine points and two blocked shots to go with her 12 rebounds. Javernick had nine points to go with her three steals. Davis added five points for the Wolves, and Bennett had two.
Tualatin, as a team, made 14 of 32 shots from the field, with three 3-pointers, and eight of 16 free-throw attempts. The Wolves also outrebounded Tigard by a 28-19 margin.
"We really played as a team, and I think that's really important," Lathrop said. "They've got some really good shooters, so we got out on the shooters, and didn't let them get open threes, which I think really helped us."
Brown led Tigard with 12 points. She also had four rebounds and a pair of steals. Lamet had 11 points and six rebounds. Spadafora scored five points for the Tigers. Leavitt scored four and Shimojima had two.
Tigard, as a team, made 11 of 42 shots from the field, with two 3-pointers, and 10 of 13 free-throw attempts.
Both teams will be back in action with league games on Wednesday. Tualatin will host Lakeridge at 7 p.m., and Tigard will play at Oregon City at 7:15 p.m. On Friday, Tualatin will host Lake Oswego, and Tigard will be home to face Canby in league games starting at 7 p.m.
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