Tualatin junior post Jordyn Smith (3) is averaging 11.3 points and 9.1 rebounds this season. (Photo by Fanta Mithmeuangneua)
Tualatin junior post Jordyn Smith (3) is averaging 11.3 points and 9.1 rebounds this season. (Photo by Fanta Mithmeuangneua)

Despite losing its leading scorer, senior wing Jaylyn Arosemena, to a broken ankle, No. 7 Tualatin is showing that it's still a threat to defend its title in 6A Three Rivers League girls basketball.

The Timberwolves (10-3, 2-0) picked up a key league win Tuesday night, going on the road to turn back Oregon City 48-40. They are 3-0 since the loss of Arosemena, who was injured Jan. 2 against Liberty, but Tuesday was their most complete performance without her.

“I don't think we've played particularly well since Jaylyn went down, but we're starting to kind of figure things out,” Tualatin coach Wes Pappas said. “Some other kids are stepping up. Beating Oregon City was really big. These girls are absolute warriors. It was just a gutsy effort.”

Junior post Jordyn Smith had 20 points and six rebounds, sophomore post Alex Padilla had 12 points and five rebounds and sophomore point guard Ries Miadich added eight points for the Timberwolves, who will play for sole possession of first place Thursday at home against No. 9 West Linn (9-5, 2-0).

The 6-foot-2 Smith, a transfer from Tigard, is settling into her role with the Timberwolves. She used her size and strength to hurt the Pioneers (7-6, 0-1) inside.

“She just carried us. She just balled out,” Pappas said of Smith, who is averaging 11.3 points and 9.1 rebounds. “She's improving so much, feeling so much more comfortable out there. Night and day since the beginning of the season.”

Smith is developing a better understanding of her role in the team's 2-3 zone defense, which is holding opponents to 36.2 points per game, third in 6A behind Nelson (30.0) and Lake Oswego (33.8).

“She didn't know how to play zone the way we play zone,” Pappas said. “She wasn't sealing the baseline to save her life, and now she's plugging up the middle, sealing every baseline. Every shot is contested.”

The 6-0 Padilla, who plays all three positions in the zone, also is making her presence felt on defense. Pappas said he believes she is one of the best defensive players in the state.

“I've never had a kid be able to play all three of those positions,” Pappas said. “For her to be a sophomore and play all three spots, and be super effective in every spot, she is just an absolute weapon out there defensively.”

Arosemena, a second-team TRL pick last season who has committed to Western Washington, is averaging a team-high 14.2 points and 7.1 rebounds. She is wearing a cast and facing a recovery of 4-6 weeks from the time of the injury.

“Losing her was massive,” Pappas said. “Our hope is that she's back for the playoffs. That would work out really well for us.”

Tualatin graduated five of their top eight players from last season, when it reached the 6A quarterfinals and finished 24-4. Arosemena and Miadich (9.6 points, 3.3 rebounds) returned as starters, and the Timberwolves added Smith, a TRL first-team pick at Tigard.

Tualatin has won nine of 10 games since falling to No. 3 Jefferson 52-44 and No. 5 Benson 59-47. The Timberwolves led Jefferson in the third quarter and were within two points of Benson in the fourth quarter.

Lions end Amity streak

No. 6 Jefferson (16-1, 7-0) took over first place in the 3A PacWest Conference with a 52-48 home win over No. 3 Amity (14-3, 5-1) on Friday.

The Lions, coming off a double-overtime win at Taft the previous night, ended Amity's conference winning streak at 25. Junior point guard Gretchen Orton scored a game-high 28 points for Jefferson, one night after pouring in a career-high 39 points against Taft.

“I think it's big, but we still have to keep building because we still got to play them one more time on their court,” Orton said. “This shows that if we can keep working, we can go as far as we want.”

The Lions, who are bidding for their first state tournament appearance since 1993, defeated Santiam Christian 53-43 on Monday and Scio 67-27 on Tuesday to extend their winning streak to 16 since a season-opening 45-44 loss to 2A No. 3 Regis.

Jefferson led Amity 29-21 at half and fell behind 35-32 late in the third quarter before taking control in the fourth quarter. Senior guard Amira Saad added 11 points for the Lions, making three three-pointers.

Sophomore Adie Nisly and junior Saralynn Grove scored 14 and 13 points, respectively, for Amity. The Warriors bounced back Monday by topping Sheridan 64-25.

Cascade wins 4A battle

No. 7 Cascade (8-5, 2-0) shook off a slow start to overcome No. 5 Stayton 42-32 in a pivotal 4A Oregon West Conference game Tuesday night.

The visiting Eagles (10-3, 1-1) hit three consecutive three-pointers to take a 14-3 lead, but the Cougars battled back to lead 24-23 on a three-pointer by senior Maddie Dustin midway through the third quarter.

Down 30-26 early in the fourth quarter, Cascade went on a 16-2 run to finish the game. Sophomore guard Olivia Bennett made a three-pointer and two free throws to start the flurry.

Bennett finished with a game-high 19 points, hitting five three-pointers, and Dustin added 11 points. Junior Kenzi Hollenbeck led Stayton with 11 points.

Cascade is tied for first place with No. 3 Philomath (11-3, 2-0). The Cougars play at Philomath on Feb. 1.

-- Jeremy McDonald contributed to this report