An opportunity to take over sole possession of first-place in the Sierra League girls basketball race was within reach Friday night.
The Douglas Tigers were unable to capitalize, however, when they fell to a 45-35 defeat at the hands of Bishop Manogue in a showdown between league leaders at Randy Green Court.
“That was a big win,” Manogue coach Craig Holt said. “I love to come down here and play Douglas because they compete. You’ve got to give that team a lot of credit.”
Douglas (18-7 overall, 11-3 league) only led once — 6-4 late in the first quarter — on a night when Manogue (16-4, 12-2) was without the services of standout guard Hannah Santos due to a foot injury. Santos scored 23 points, including seven 3-pointers, in Manogue’s 64-51 win over Douglas on Jan. 10 in Reno.
“We didn’t get a lot of offense going tonight,” Holt added. “It hurt not having Hannah. She’s kind of our go-to person, but all in all, our kids played hard. They competed, and I loved the way they played defense in the fourth quarter.”
The Douglas girls program has never won a Sierra League title, however, the Tigers came into this match-up with the momentum of a seven-game win streak.
“They played good,” said coach Werner Christen, whose Tigers had their seven-game win streak end. “They beat us without one of their best, so my hat’s off to them.”
The Tigers have capitalized on game-breaking scoring streaks all season, however, they were not able to string more than five points together and then were limited to 6 points in the fourth quarter.
“We didn’t get the stops like we usually do,” Christen said. “I don’t think there were any times when we got three or four stops in a row, and the stops we did get, we didn’t do a good job of converting them.”
Maddy Lowe scored 12 points, Corryne Millett 9 and Leonna Mortimer 8 to lead the Tigers offensively. Millett hit a 3-pointer, assisted by Lowe, to beat the buzzer at halftime and cut Manogue’s lead to 24-17.
The Tigers still only trailed 37-33 after Katie McCullough drove the baseline for a reverse layup midway through the fourth quarter. The Miners closed with an 8-2 run to put the game away. The back breaker came with 2:08 to go when Christa Young stole the ball in the backcourt and cashed in with a layup.
Breezi Holt scored 15 points and Maddy Lewis 12 for Manogue. The Miners shot 12-for-27 from the free throw line, as opposed to the Tigers’ 10-for-17.
Despite the loss, the Tigers are still assured of a second-place finish and homecourt advantage for their first-round playoff game on Feb. 18.
“Our goal coming into the season was to win league, but goal 1-A was to get a home playoff game, and we’ve done that,” Christen said. “It was good to play a game like this. We haven’t had a big game in a while, so hopefully this will help us out in the playoffs.”
Note: Brittany Puzey was inducted into the Douglas Basketball Hall of Fame during a brief ceremony at halftime of the boys game. Puzey was a three-year varsity starter who received all-league and all-region honors as a junior and senior (she scored 15.3 points per game her last season in 2005). … Tammy Gough, a three-year starter, was unable to attend the ceremony due to road conditions from the winter storm. Instead, Gough will be inducted this Friday during the Tigers’ game against Carson.