Opportunity knocked on Tuesday night for the Douglas High boys basketball team. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they were unable to answer the door in a 55-52 loss against Reno.
Sparked by a 12-0 run that bridged the second and third quarters, Reno (8-5, 2-1) rallied from a double-digit deficit then held on to beat Douglas (6-6 overall, 2-3 league).
The Tigers had an opportunity to tie at the end of regulation, only to see their 3-point shot was blocked by Connor Bush at the buzzer to preserve the win for Reno.
“The game plan was there, and the kids executed well,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “I thought our guys passed the ball well against their zone … the shots were there for us … it was all going our way except for those runs.”
Specifically, Douglas went scoreless over the final minute before halftime and the opening 4:07 of the third period while Reno scored 12 unanswered points to erase a 9-point deficit. Earlier, the Tigers had held leads of 25-14, 29-19 and 33-22.
Austin Evans sank a pair of free throws to give the Tigers 35-26 advantage with 1:00 left before halftime.
“I thought the end of the second quarter and start of the third, that was the tell of the tale right there,” Thacker said. “There is so much parity in this league, you’ve got to come ready to play every night, and you’ve got to play defense.”
Douglas led once more when Evans knocked down a 3-pointer from the right corner to make it 42-41 with 2:41 left in the third period. But Jakob Rolling converted a fast break layup to put the Huskies back on top, 43-42. Wyatt Williams scored on another fast break layup to open the fourth quarter and Kyle Mahaffey hit a 3-pointer to extend Reno’s lead to 51-46 with 5:27 to go.
The Tigers did not go away. Alex Tessmann scored from the inside and Pat Johnson fed James Herrick for a dunk to cut Reno’s lead to 52-50. Jeremy Peterson’s fast break layup made it 54-50, however, the Huskies were unable to put the game away as they only shot 1-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 40 seconds.
Herrick slammed down his third dunk of the night, this time assisted by A.J. Pfaffenberger, to cut the deficit to 55-52. Then Tessmann rebounded a missed free throw with 3.5 seconds showing on the clock to give the Tigers one last opportunity.
The Tigers got the shot they hoped to get. Herrick received the inbounds pass near midcourt and snapped a pass to an open Pat Johnson in the left corner, however, the shot was blocked.
“We had two options,” Thacker said. “James made a great catch and pass, the kid (Bush) just made a nice block.”
Herrick had 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Tessmann added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Tigers. As a team, Douglas shot 21-for-67 from the field (31 percent).
Mahaffey led all scorers with 17 points for the Huskies.