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The Tigers gain valuable experience at the Pacific Office Automation Holiday Classic Dec. 28-30.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard senior guard Anna Follett battles for position during the Tigers' game against Central Catholic in the Pacific Office Automation Holiday Classic Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Grant High School.It's a work in progress.

Playing without two starters, Hailey Shimojima and Alyssa Moore, the Tigard girls basketball team dropped the second of three games at the Pacific Office Automation Holiday Classic Wednesday, Dec. 29, falling to Central Catholic 59-41.

The Tigers jumped on the Rams early, building a 16-10 first quarter lead, but struggled to both score and defend the more aggressive Mt. Hood Conference squad over the second and third quarters en route to what would ultimately be a decisive Central Catholic win.

"We struggled a little bit against their zone defense, but I think our defense is what needed the most work," Tigard head coach Heidi DeHaan said. "We need to be able to not give up 59 points because we're probably not going to score more than 50 on a lot of nights. We just gave up too many transition buckets."

Senior guard Anna Follett led the way for Tigard with 10 points, with help from Kali Kisor (nine points) and post Sarah Lamet, who tallied seven points and seven rebounds. But it was Central Catholic's Gretta Baker that led all scorers, posting 24 points while grabbing eight rebounds.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard sophomore Ocean Deisner scans the defense during the Tigers' game against Central Catholic in the Pacific Office Automation Holiday Classic Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Grant High School.The Rams senior scored but four first quarter points and appeared frustrated by her team's performance early, but scored seven in the second quarter, eight more in the third, and hit a step-back three to start the fourth that effectively iced the game for the Rams.

"She's a really good player and was a bit of a mismatch for us defensively," DeHaan said. "She played a great game."

Minus Shimojima and Moore, DeHaan said the game was an opportunity for some of her younger, less experienced girls to earn their stripes. In all, the Tigers got points from nine different players, including freshman post Jordyn Smith who scored two points and grabbed five rebounds, and who DeHaan said has "great potential."

Lamet got off to a quick start in the game, but as the contest progressed became a focal point of the Central Catholic defense which seemed to frazzle the 6-foot-4 star.

"Sarah needs to learn to not get frustrated when teams are putting a lot of body into her because that's what they're going to do," DeHaan said. "I think she rushed some stuff because of that and got frustrated when she didn't get some calls.

PMG PHOTO: WADE EVANSON - Tigard senior post Sarah Lamet goes up for a shot during the Tigers' game against Central Catholic in the Pacific Office Automation Holiday Classic Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Grant High School."We're asking a lot of her, especially with some starters being out, and I think she's feeling the weight of that. It's our job to find ways to help her out."

Despite the defeat, along with the loss to Wilsonville in their opener a day earlier, the coach said she's mostly pleased with how things have gone early in the year and is looking forward to what is always a tough Three Rivers League slate.

"I feel like we've had a great preseason and built good momentum," DeHaan said. "Obviously, the last two days have been kind of a setback, but in some ways it was to be expected. We have a couple more weeks to get some practice in and have a really tough conference, but we'll keep working and I'm excited."

Tigard went on to defeat Century 48-23 in their tournament finale and will travel to Westview, Jan.6, for a final nonleague tune-up before opening their league season Wednesday, Jan. 12, at Oregon City.


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