Tualatin boys suffer first setback
KEIZER — Well, no one likes to lose.
But, it's said that you can learn more from a loss than you can from a victory.
Going into last week's game at McNary, the Tualatin High School boys basketball team had nothing but wins to try and grow from.
But a hot-shooting McNary team changed that.
The Timberwolves suffered their first loss of the season, falling 72-58 to the Celtics in a non-league game played Dec. 27 at McNary High School.
"This one hurt," Tualatin junior wing Caden Dickson said after the contest. "But, it probably is a good thing for us. This loss is humbling."
"Yes, to an extent, this could be a good thing," Tualatin junior wing Jack Rose said. "Now, we know what it feels like to lose, and we don't like it."
With the victory, McNary improved to 6-4 on the season to that point.
The Timberwolves fell to 8-1, at that point, with the setback.
"We needed to learn, since we were undefeated," Rose said. "We can't just think we're going to beat everyone. We have to work for it."
McNary, in last week's game, got off to a fast start, jumping to an 11-7 lead following a bank shot by senior Chandler Cavell. But Tualatin came back to tie the game, at 11-11, after Rose completed a three-point play, coming off an assist by senior Chris Freese, coming with 2 minutes and 1 second left to play in the first quarter.
McNary, getting a three-pointer by senior Lucas Garvey, answered by going on a 7-0 run, on its way to grabbing an 18-13 lead at the end of the opening period.
The Celtics were still up by five, at 20-15, after senior Andrew Jones scored on a drive with 6:43 left in the second quarter.
But that's when the Wolves got going — in a big way.
Dickson sank a three-pointer to ignite the fuse for Tualatin. Rose followed with a steal and layup to tie the game at 20-20. The Wolves then took their first lead of the game, at 22-20, when Rose scored on a layup off a pass from Dickson, coming with 5:23 left in the period. Dickson then drilled another three-point basket, capping off a 10-0 run, and giving Tualatin a 25-20 advantage with 5:05 remaining before halftime.
Dickson sank yet another three-pointer later in the period, and senior Alexis Angeles added a pair of free throws, as the Wolves would go on to hold a 34-29 lead at the end of the second quarter.
"We were doing a good job of creating," Dickson said of the Wolves' second-quarter run. "We were getting open shots."
But, after shooting at an 8-for-14 clip from the field in the second quarter, Tualatin struggled to find the same shooting touch the rest of the contest.
Things started well enough for the Wolves in the third quarter. They upped their lead to 40-34 when Angeles sank a three-pointer, off an assist from senior Lucas Noland, coming with 4:57 left in the period.
But McNary, with Jones scoring seven points, would outscore Tualatin 15-5 the remainder of the period, giving the Celtics a 49-45 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Things got even worse for the Wolves in the final stanza.
Tualatin made just five of 22 shots from the field in the fourth quarter. McNary, on the other hand, made nine of 10 shots, with most of those coming from close range, as the Celtics were able to pull away in the period for the 72-58 victory.
"Our team focus is defense," Dickson said. "And our defense wasn't close to being were it needed to be. That's something for us to work on."
"We were moving the ball around, and getting off good shots in the beginning," Rose said. "In the second half, I think we got tired."
Angeles was Tualatin's leading scorer in the contest with 18 points, 16 of those coming in the second half. Dickson scored 16 points, and had three steals. Rose added 14 points and Freese had four points, six rebounds and four assists.
Tualatin, as a team, made 22 of 63 shots from the field and eight of 11 free-throw attempts. The Wolves also had just six turnovers in the contest.
Garvey led all scorers with 21 points. Jones added 13, Cavell had 11 and junior Boston Smith and senior Ricardo Gardelli each scored 10 for the Celtics.
McNary, as a team, made 30 of 47 shots from the field (17 of 22 in the second half) and nine of 17 free-throw attempts.
The Wolves weren't able to bounce back right away from the loss, as they fell 63-47 to Willamette in a non-league game played Saturday at Tualatin High School. Sophomore John Miller scored 18 points for Tualatin in that game.
The Wolves were slated to play at Lakeridge in a Three Rivers League opener on Wednesday. Results of that game weren't available when the Times went to press.
Tualatin will be back in action on Friday, when it hosts Newberg in a league game starting at 7:15 p.m. On Tuesday, the Wolves will be home to face Canby in a 7 p.m. league contest.