Basketball: Tualatin girls pull away to get win at Canby
With Canby High School senior Nicole Mickelson on the bench in a walking boot, Tualatin already felt like it had an advantage in the post.
That mismatch got even larger when Canby's other senior forward, Ally Odell, was called for her third foul with 3 minutes and 8 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
With Odell joining Mickelson on the bench, Tualatin went on a 10-0 run to close the first half and then scored the first eight points of the second second half on its way to getting a 50-32 victory in the Three Rivers League girls basketball game played Friday at Canby High School.
"If there's a mismatch, we've got to get it inside when we can," said Tualatin junior Sidney Dering, who led the Timberwolves with 17 points. "Our points in the paint are a great percentage for us. That's one of our key areas. We've got a lot of real strong posts. A lot of us grew up playing post. It's great for us having that background and knowing how to play with our back to the basket and finding the rim."
With the win, the Timberwolves are tied with St. Mary's Academy for third in the Three Rivers League at 7-5 (16-6 overall), while Canby dropped into fifth place at 6-6 (12-9 overall).
While Tualatin never trailed in Friday's game, Canby junior Zoe Thompson buried a 3-pointer to tie the contest at 12-12 with four minutes remaining in the second period.
However, Odell picked up her third foul less than a minute later.
"With Nicole already down, we just don't have a whole lot of size, and I thought that was the key stretch of the game," Canby coach Chuck Knight said. "That changed the game when she went out. "We're playing a lot of young kids that really gave it everything they've got and got some good experience, but it's real tough when you get thrown into a high level varsity game, and you've only played in a handful of them."
According to Knight, Mickelson injured her right foot in early January, but had been playing through the pain. She is day-to-day.
"She's not able to play at the level she's capable of," Knight said. "She's battling the best she can with it. We're not a deep team. Any injures were going to be tough to absorb, but especially when it's your best player, and her size, it's a tough loss. That's basketball. You get injuries and you've got to keep playing."
With two seconds remaining in the third quarter, Canby senior point guard Naarai Gomez went down holding her ankle, and did not return to the game.
The Cougars used a full-court press to try to get back in the game. Freshman Allie Mead scored back-to-back baskets to get Canby within 42-30, but the Cougars could not get any closer.
Mead and Odell each scored 10 points to lead Canby. Thompson added eight.
Kasidy Javernick had 13 points for Tualatin.
Both Canby and Tualatin were coming off back-to-back losses to West Linn and Oregon City.
"We don't get a lot of breaks in this league," Dering said. "It's a really tough league this year. Playoff game after playoff game every night it seems like, so we're really working hard. It feels great to come here and get a win, especially at an away game. We've been working really hard in practice preparing for all of the games in our league."
The Timberwolves host rival Tigard Wednesday, in a game starting at 5:45 p.m., and then closes out the regular season Friday at Lakeridge in a 7 p.m. contest.
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