Basketball: Tigard boys start fast, finish strong at Lakeridge
It wasn't a perfect performance, but it was certainly more than good enough.
And, with that performance, the Tigard High School boys basketball team keeps on rolling.
The Tigers, behind a dominant first half, and a strong fourth quarter, sprinted to a 71-48 win over Lakeridge in a Three Rivers League game played Tuesday at Lakeridge High School.
"It was really good," said Tigard junior wing Drew Carter, who led all scorers in the contest with 33 points. "We got up on them first, and that's a big deal for us. We want to get an early lead, expand on it, and not let them come back. Unfortunately, we did kind of let them come back in the third quarter. But they were hitting shots, and hats off to them, but we came back strong, starting hitting shots and playing strong on defense."
"It went really well. We got everyone to score tonight, which was pretty awesome," said Tigard junior post Edward Beglaryan, who added 14 points. "We played pretty well in the first half. We relaxed some in the third quarter, and we can't do that again, but we had a good response and closed it out well."
With the loss, Lakeridge moved to 0-10 in TRL play (5-16 overall), putting the Pacers in seventh place in the league standings. With the victory, its fourth straight, Tigard improved to 5-4 in TRL games (15-6 overall), putting the Tigers in third place in the league standings.
"We just decided that we needed to pick it up," Beglaryan said of the Tigers' winning streak. "We started off preseason well, then we got in a bit of a slump when we started league play, but now we've got our groove back."
In that winning streak, Tigard avenged earlier league losses by getting victories over Canby and West Linn. The Tigers will have a chance to avenge two more league losses in their next two games, when they host league-leading Lake Oswego on Friday at 7 p.m., and when they play at rival Tualatin on Feb. 26 in a game starting at 7:15 p.m.
"We're coming back hungry. Once we lose, we want to avenge ourselves," Carter said. "We're super excited. We have to prepare well for Lake Oswego, and I think it's going to be a really good game."
"We just have to come out and outwork them for four quarter," Beglaryan said. "If we play our brand of basketball, then it should go our way."
That sure worked in Tuesday's game at Lakeridge. Beglayan, sinking a 3-pointer and adding a free throw, followed by a steal and layup, scored the game's first eight points. Carter then scored four straight points, giving Tigard a 10-0 lead with 4 minutes and 56 seconds left to play in the first quarter, and the Tigers were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.
Carter would add a 3-pointer and freshman Malik Brown and junior Brandon Kohlman each added a basket in the opening period, which ended with Tigard holding a 19-7 lead.
Senior Steven Long then took over for the Tigers early in the second quarter. Long had a basket on a drive to the hoop, a tip-in and a 3-point play, upping the Tigard lead to 26-10 with 5:07 left before halftime.
Carter then scored 13 points in the final 4:09 of the period, helping the Tigers claim a 41-19 halftime advantage.
Lakeridge, to its credit, came battling back in the third quarter. The Pacers, with junior Clark Sheehan scoring six points in the quarter, outscored Tigard 17-8 in the period, cutting the Tiger lead to 49-36 going into the fourth quarter.
But the Tigers wouldn't let Lakeridge get any closer.
Carter opened the final stanza with 3-pointer from the left wing, coming off a pass from Long, and junior Brett Moss followed with a basket on a 14-foot jumper, and Tigard took off again.
Carter scored nine points in the period, and Beglaryan added four points, two rebounds and a steal, as the Tigers pulled away for the 71-48 victory.
"Just get up early, get an early lead," Carter said of a key to a Tigard victory. "We have a hard time, sometimes, fighting back on teams, so, if we get an early lead, we're too athletic, and people have a hard time coming back on us."
"We're just outworking them every game. That's the key," Beglaryan said.
Carter, in addition to his 33 points, also had four steals in the victory. Beglaryan had seven rebounds, two steals, and some strong defensive play to go with his 14 points.
"I love him on defense," Carter said. "He's a real good competitor."
"I just have to keep that mindset, going 100 percent the whole game," Beglaryan said. "I've got to beat the guy in front of me the whole time."
Long had nine points and six rebounds. Moss had three points and seven rebounds, and Brown had two points, six assists, four rebounds, two blocked shots and two steals.
Tigard, as a team, made 26 of 60 shots from the field, with five 3-pointers, and 14 of 17 free-throw attempts. The Tigers also helped force Lakeridge into 23 turnovers.
Sheehan led a balanced Lakeridge scoring attack with 12 points. Senior Nick Holum added 10 points for the Pacers.
Lakeridge, as a team, made 22 of 55 shots from the field, with two 3-pointers, and two of six free-throw attempts.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.