The Douglas boys basketball team took full control of the Sierra League title race Friday night, avenging their lone league loss this season with a 70-62 victory over Galena.
Douglas extended its win streak to nine games while improving its season record to 15-6 overall and 11-1 in Northern Division I play.
Galena dropped to 8-3 in league play, having fallen at Spanish Springs earlier this week and at Hug earlier this season. With four league games remaining, Douglas needs two wins or a win and a Galena loss to clinch the Sierra League title for the second year in a row.
"It seems like the guys are coming together and working together," Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. "We still have a lot of room to grow, and we need to keep at it to get there. The important thing is getting a little bit better every day, every game."
Douglas jumped out to an 11-2 lead over the first five minutes of the game with the help of three baskets from 6-10 junior center James Herrick and a big 3-pointer from senior Hunter Myers.
Myers led the Tigers in scoring on the night, pouring in 22 points, including four 3-pointers. Herrick came up big on the scoreboard for the second time in a week, putting up a season-high 18 points. Both players finished in double figures in rebounds.
"James had a big night scoring and that helped open things up," Thacker said. "He's continued to improve all season. He worked very hard in the offseason and he's still working hard to refine his game. He came up big tonight, and really these last couple of games."
Following the 11-2 run, Galena strung together a pair of consecutive baskets, but Herrick put a halt to that with another lay-up. Jaden Mustacchio capped Douglas' scoring in the quarter with a runner inside the paint to put the Tigers up 17-6.
"The defense played a big part for us tonight, especially in that first quarter," Thacker said. "They were getting the stops, making Galena take quick shots and we were getting the rebounds. There weren't many second chances for Galena.
"The kids stuck to the game plan and that made a big difference."
With Douglas leading 20-9 early in the second quarter, thanks to a Myers 3-pointer, Galena slowly began to work its way back into the game.
The Grizzlies put together a mini 5-2 run and then Galena standout Caleb Wood let loose, scoring his team's next 10 points. His efforts were part of a larger 15-7 run for the Grizzlies that cut the deficit to 27-24 with 3:38 remaining in the first half.
Wood finished the game leading all scorers with 23 points.
Another Mustacchio basket, followed by a personal 5-0 run from Myers, set the Tigers back out at 34-25.
The teams traded baskets over the final 1:14 before settling at a 38-31 Douglas lead heading into halftime.
After allowing a quick basket to start the third, Douglas clamped down and held Galena without a field goal over the next seven minutes - running up a 13-2 run in the interim.
Wood again closed the gap back down with a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute of the third. Douglas entered the final period leading 53-31.
Herrick opened the fourth up with what proved to be his, and the Tigers' final field goal of the night, at the 7:49 mark. The shot put Douglas up 55-41.
From there Galena began to try to get stops through fouling, but Douglas was able to hit 15 of 22 free throws over of the final seven minutes to clinch the victory.
Galena hit three 3-pointers down the stretch to help cut the score back to its final eight-point gap.
Douglas got eight points from Austin Evans, seven from Pat Johnson, five from Joe Syammach and four each from Michael Nolting and Mustacchio.
The Tigers next host McQueen at 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
Douglas bounced back from a loss earlier in the week to clobber the Galena Grizzlies 53-24 in Minden Friday night.
The Lady Tigers clinched a playoff spot with the win and bumped their season record to 11-13 overall and 6-6 in Northern Division I play.
Douglas jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the game and never looked back, extending it to 18-6 by the end of the first quarter.
An 8-0 run through the middle of the quarter pushed Douglas to a 16-point lead at 26-10, but Galena closed the gap back down to 11 with a 6-0 run over the final two minutes of the first half.
The Grizzlies would get no closer, though, as Douglas opened the third quarter on a 12-0 run. The Tigers allowed just eight points in the second half while running away with the win.
Freshman McKenna Kynett led the Tigers with 14 points and sophomore Corryne Millett had 13.
Diana Regalado scored nine points, Desiree Cage scored six, Madison Ryan had four, Kassidy Freitas had three and Kelly Sonnemann capped the scoring with two.