The Tigard girls sprint past Grant to get a 79-34 victory in the season opener

by: DAN BROOD - TRAPPED -- Grant's Princess McNair (1) has no where to go between Tigard senior Emilee Cincotta (3) and freshman Kylie Warren. TIGARD — The Tigard High School girls basketball team was looking to get its 2013-2014 season off to a roaring start.

Mission accomplished.

The Tigers, turning up the intensity to a high level and playing its usual brand of stifling defense, opened its season by running to a 79-34 win over Grant in a non-league game played Dec. 4 at Tigard High School.

“We were pumped up to get the season going,” Tigard junior guard Kaylie Boschma said after the victory.

“We came out with a lot of energy,” Tigard senior guard Emilee Cincotta said. “I was impressed with our press. Grant put some pressure on us, and that helped us get ready for some upcoming tough games.”

The Tigers, coming off a 2012-2013 campaign that saw them win the Pacific Conference championship and then claim the fifth-place trophy at the Class 6A state tournament, were likely looking to get their current season off to a running start.

And that’s exactly what they did.

“It was an up-and-down game,” Tigard coach Steve Naylor said. “We haven’t had that in a long time. We want to run more, but we want to be sure to put the pressure on.”

The Tigers sure seemed to do both of those things at the start of last week’s season-opener.

Cincotta set the tone right from the start, as she came up with a steal and layup to give Tigard a 2-0 lead 17 seconds into the contest.

The Tigers took off from there.

A jumper by junior Faithe Wantland, a pair of free throws by junior Ashley Holzgang, a layup by freshman Kylie Warren off an assist from Cincotta and a follow-up basket by Boschma gave Tigard a 10-0 lead with 5:20 left in the first quarter.

Boschma added two more baskets and Cincotta went 5 for 6 from the free throw line in a span of 54 seconds to help the Tigers push their lead to 19-0 with 2:30 remaining in the opening period.

Grant ended the Tigard scoring run with a bank shot by senior Mary Banks coming with 24 seconds left in the quarter, but Tigard, getting a last-second follow-up hoop by Wantland, claimed a 21-2 lead at the end of the DAN BROOD - UP FOR TWO -- Tigard senior Lexi Carter soars to the hoop during the Tigers' win over Grant.

While the Tigers did get their running game going, it seemed to be their defense that led to the big first-quarter performance. In the period, Tigard helped for the Generals into 13 turnovers to go with a 1-for-10 shooting performance from the field.

“Playing good defense is always our philosophy,” said Cincotta, who had seven points, two steals, two assists, two rebounds and a blocked shot in the big first quarter.

“We always work hard on defense,” Boschma said. “I love it.”

Tigard kept rolling in the second quarter. The Tigers started the period with a pair of layups by senior guard Lexi Carter and a pair of free throws by senior Stephanie King as they upped the margin to 27-2 with 6:23 remaining in the period.

Carter scored nine points in the quarter and King added six to help Tigard take a 38-16 halftime advantage.

The Tigers stepped hard on the gas pedal again in the third quarter.

Boschma scored the first four points of the quarter, two coming on a steal and layup, and Cincotta followed that up with five straight points of her own, giving Tigard a 47-16 lead with 4:56 remaining in the period.

Carter scored eight points in the final 4:01 of the third quarter, which ended with Tigard holding a 58-20 lead.

Cincotta scored eight points in the fourth quarter. Wantland sank a three-pointer and Boschma, Carter, senior Jessie King and senior Hannah Armstead each added a basket in the period to help Tigard close out the 79-34 victory.

“We’re super competitive,” Boschma said. “We all want it.”

“We’ve got great worth ethic as a team,” Cincotta said.

Tigard, which played without returning starting post Elise Conroy, who suffered a sprained ankle in practice the day before the season-opener, made 30 of 62 shots from the field in the victory.

“We got a lot of good, quality shots,” Naylor said.

Cincotta led all scorers in the contest with 20 points. She also had six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Carter added 19 points on a 7-for-9 shooting night from the field. She also had eight rebounds, six steals and four assists.

Boschma, playing her first game for the Tigard team, had 12 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists.

“She’s a crafty lefty,” Naylor said with a smile.

The 5-foot-6 Wantland pulled down 12 rebounds, helping Tigard claim a 46-27 advantage in that category.

“She’s an awesome rebounder,” Naylor said. “She did that all summer.”

by: DAN BROOD - ON THE DRIVE -- Tigard High School junior Kaylie Boschma (right) looks to get ahead of Grant freshman Princess McNair.Wantland also had nine points and three assists.

Stephanie King added eight points.

Freshman Nina Radford led Grant with 11 points and freshman Khiarica Rasheed added 10 points. The Generals made 14 of 52 shots from the field.

Tigard followed up the season-opening victory by posting a 62-40 win over Rex Putnam in a non-league game played Friday at Rex Putnam High School.

On Tuesday, the Tigers fell 52-45 to Beaverton in a non-league contest played at Beaverton High School.

The Tigers will be back in action Friday when they host perennial power Oregon City in a non-league game starting at 7:15 p.m. at Tigard High School.

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