Scoreless in McMinnville
Even during the most trying of basketball games, the ball tends to find its way through the hoop, sometimes by accident.
What happened Tuesday night at The Furnace was no accident.
The McMinnville girls basketball team failed to score a point in the first 14 minutes, 47 seconds of its game against Class 6A Pacfic Conference foe Tigard en route to a 52-12 defeat.
The Grizzlies (3-10, 0-4 Pacific) committed 32 turnovers and made four field goals on 33 attempts (12.1 percent). The Tigers led 28-2 at halftime and 36-8 after three quarters.
“We didn’t handle (Tigard’s) press or their 2-3 zone (defense) well,” Mac coach Sean Coste said.
Tigard (9-5, 4-0) kept the McMinnville offense at bay in a 50-16 victory last season and held the Grizzlies to 16 points on Feb. 1, 2008. Mac’s 12 points is the lowest output in any game in the past decade.
At the beginning, the Grizzlies used man-to-man defense and a 2-3 zone defense to stifle the Tigers’ offense. Tigard scored four points in the game’s first 4:30 as McMinnville worked to get its offense going.
It never got going.
“Our defense was really pretty tough the first three minutes,” Coste said. “After the first three minutes, we really hurried passes and didn’t read their defense well. They started getting steals and easy baskets.
“We started playing quicker. They fed off that.”
Audrey McMillan broke the spell with a putback of her own miss at the 1:13 mark of the second quarter, with the Grizzlies trailing 27-0. At halftime, McMinnville had more turnovers (23) than field goal attempts (14). Tigard’s 2-3 zone walled off most of the territory inside the three-point line; its press had thrown the Grizzlies’ guards off balance.
“I told them (at halftime) that you’re a better team than you’re showing,” Coste said.
Mac emerged from the locker room and again clamped down on the defensive end, holding Tigard scoreless for the first 3:48 of the third quarter. Yet again, the offense was slow in coming.
Bethany Mohler expertly assisted McMillan on a basket with 3:56 remaining in the third quarter. Two minutes later, Molly Olsen hit a jump shot. Nicole Long got to the foul line with 22 seconds left in the period and hit both free throws, the first attempted by the Grizzlies in the game.
A jumper by Emily Bliven at the 5:05 mark of the fourth quarter – Mac’s ninth and 10th points – elicited cheers from the Furnace crowd. Elizabeth Logsdon drew shooting fouls three times as the fourth quarter wound down and went 2-of-6 from the free throw line.
Tigard guard Lexi Carter scored a game-high 14 points, and Kaylie Boschma – who transferred from Yamhill-Carlton before the school year – added nine points. The Tigers’ 6-foot-3 sophomore center, Elise Conroy, blocked four shots and largely controlled the middle of the paint but was held to six points by McMinnville.
The Grizzlies host Forest Grove tonight at 5:45 p.m. and Glencoe Tuesday night at 6:45 p.m.