The gym lay silent. The halls empty with the school day at a close and the students out for the weekend. But with the clock striking five, Tigard began to fill. Athletes, parents and high-schoolers took their seats for the famed back-to-back rivalry double-header: Tigard vs Tualatin.
An early girls Varsity game followed by the boys Varsity game with the most spectators in attendance of the 2019-2020 season.
Starting the match was Tigard’s 6’3 Sarah Lamet (#10) against Tualatin’s 6’3 Natalie Lathrop (#42) for the first possession of the ball. Lathrop won out which gave the Wolves an early lead against the Tigers and a first-quarter score of 10-11 (THS-TuHS). The lead could’ve been much more, but with 0.2 seconds left in the quarter, Tigard Kennedy Brown (#2) was fouled on and was three for three in her last-second free throws.
The lead widened for the Timberwolves in Q2 after Tigard had missed two open-court layups, but this only increased anticipation for the third. When Tigard’s freshman Hailey Shimojima (#14) redeemed the team, the student section exploded in cheer.
The first half was mostly calm with the majority of action being passes, but tensions were rising. With 5:10 left in quarter three, simultaneous fouls were called on both teams with a shooting foul on Brown’s attempt and a technical foul on Tualatin’s Sidney Dering (#12). The term ended ten points in favor of Tualatin, but the best had yet to come in Q4.
Tigard’s Lamet shot for two at 7:12 left in the game, 23-31. Karen Spadafora (#3) shot for two, 25-31. Lamet shot again for two after a steal on both teams, 27-31. Brown also stole and shot for three, 30-31. Then, Lamet (#10) shot for a third time for the lead, 32-31. After the entire game, Tigard caught up in four minutes.
But following Tigard’s #10 was Tualatin’s #10 (Kasidy Javernick) who brought the lead back to Tualatin and kept it that way till the clock hit zero.
The TuHS girls won game one, 34-39 with three three-pointers and Dering with 12 points. Brown had also led the Tigers with 12 points and two threes. Next up on the court was the boys and they started the game up fast.
Wasting no time, Tigard Edward Beglaryan (#20) shot for three on first possession. With the rebound, Tualatin John Miller (#20) stopped behind the arc for a three as well. But challenged the team would be Tigard for yet another three and no missed attempts.
To say the least, these teams were bundles of energy jumping around, practically tackling the poor basketball. This was a rivalry game after all.
“These Tigard-Tualatin basketball games, they’re a different feeling. I’ve played football Tigard-Tualatin games and it’s nuts, it’s not even close to [other games], it’s way more intense, everybody is here, everyone can see you and everyone can hear you,” Miller said.
Although Tualatin started behind, they caught the lead by the end of Q1 with 12-14 (THS-TuHS). As the point gap grew, both teams seemed to be missing more shots in attempt to outplay the competitor.
With the half nearly over, Tigard Steven Long (#3) was running on seconds and with his missed half-court shot, he was also fouled on with… zero seconds remaining? That is what the clock displayed at least, but he still shot two for three on his free throws.
Throughout the third quarter, Miller had his eyes on Carter with his main focus on defense. Yet Carter was still able to score seven points in the term.
“We were trying to stick to our game plan which was: take care of Drew [Carter] and do everything we needed to do,” Miller said. “I feel like it was working and we got rebounds; we got the shots that we needed. If we weren’t behind, we’d probably drop a little bit so we knew we had to pedal to the metal the whole time.”
By the end of the game and after a signature Miller dunk, the TuHS boys also took a win with a 15 point lead at 45-60.
Miller scored a total of 19 points for his team with Carter on 17 for the Tigers. Tigard also had five three-pointers and Tualatin with four.
After this coming Feb. 4’s games, all of the league teams will replay each other in succession which will eventually lead to a Tigard vs Tualatin rematch.
“I think it was a game that we worked hard for and we fought all the way, the whole time through,” Miller said. “This win is big for us; third win in League. We’re looking forward to going into the second round taking teams off that we might have lost to this first round.”