Basketball: Land-roving Tigers return home |

Basketball: Land-roving Tigers return home

by Joey Crandall

The Douglas High boys basketball team cut its teeth with a young squad over the last month, producing a 7-6 overall record against a high level of competition.

Through that, the Tigers have compiled a solid 3-1 record in Northern 4A action with wins over perennial High Desert League powers like Spanish Springs and Reno.

Douglas opens up a 12-game league stretch Saturday, hosting the Reed Raiders at 1:30 p.m.

For the greater Carson Valley sports community, it’ll be one of the first chances to see this year’s team.

Douglas played nearly its entire first month on the road, appearing only once at home in a 70-43 thumping of Wooster on Dec. 4.

In the interim, Douglas has played 10 games in 25 days, logging more than 2,100 miles on a bus while ranging as far away as Elko and San Diego.

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At times, Douglas has been brilliant – matching defending state champion Bishop Gorman nearly punch for punch through three quarters before the Gaels pulled away late and stealing a pair of victories at the prestigious Under Armour Holiday Classic in San Diego.

There have also been stretches of costly inconsistency, though those could largely be chalked up to the roster’s overall inexperience – something that only gets better with more exposure.

The Tigers’ defense has been steadily improving since the beginning of the season and the offense has shown the flexibility to score in a variety of ways.

Harvard-bound senior forward Hunter Myers has done nothing to diminish his hopes of repeating as the region’s player of the year. He is averaging 19.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.8 blocked shots and 1.8 assists per game.

Michael Nolting has been the starting point guard over the past week and has grown into a scoring role, averaging 8.1 points per game on the season and putting up double figures twice at the San Diego tournament.

Pat Johnson has emerged as the team’s top outside shooter with 19 3-pointers, though the Tigers boast a number of players that can hit from the perimeter including Austin Evans, Myers, Nolting and Jaden Wass.

Joe Syammach has emerged as one of the best one-on-one defenders on the roster with a team-leading 14 steals.

Douglas gets a slight edge in home vs. away games down the stretch, hosting seven of its final 12 contests. Perhaps more importantly, the Tigers get the three most likely High Desert League playoff teams – Reed, McQueen and Hug – all at home. They’ll also get a crucial rematch with Galena in Minden in a game that will be key to any chances the Tigers’ have of repeating as Sierra League champions.

Saturday’s game is just for the boys squad, a make-up from a game postponed earlier this season due to weather in Washoe Valley.

Both the varsity boys and girls teams will be back in action Tuesday at Damonte Ranch (girls at 5:15 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.). They return home Friday to meet up with Hug (again, 5:15 and 7).

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