One week ago, the Douglas High boys basketball team was focused on its game against Galena and a possible shot at the Sierra League championship not to mention home court berth for the first round of the playoffs.
Today, the Tigers are focused on how to end a two-game losing streak and in a game against Bishop Manogue that has become critical as far as deciding third- or fourth-place in the playoff picture.
Douglas (11-9 overall, 7-6 league) took a step backward in its playoff bid Tuesday with a 68-57 loss at McQueen, however, the Tigers still control their own destiny coming into today’s 7 p.m. contest at Randy Green Court.
The Tigers are tied for third-place with Carson in the league race, while Manogue is just one game behind and very much alive in the playoff race.
“We’ve got to take care of ourselves and not worry about anyone else,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “We’ve got to come out and play our game ... and play defense.”
On Tuesday, McQueen (7-15, 3-8) came out with a hot hand early and never cooled off en route to its first win at home this season. The Lancers led 20-16 after one quarter and 45-29 at halftime. The 78 points was the most the Tigers have allowed this season.
“They shot close to 50 percent, they out-rebounded us and they won all four quarters,” Thacker said. “Rebounding was the big one.”
The Lancers had lost 12 of their last 13 games before Tuesday. A number of those losses were closely contested affairs, including a 49-48 loss at Carson, 52-49 at the hands of Manogue and 53-47 at Reno.
A.J. Pfaffenberger led the Tigers with 14 points to go with 3 assists and 2 steals. Pat Johnson also contributed 13 points, while James Herrick added 8 points and 8 rebounds.
So now the stage is set for three big games — Manogue, Damonte Ranch on Tuesday and Carson next Friday — to end the regular season.
“It’s going to be a playoff atmosphere every night,” Thacker said. “And it starts with Manogue. They’re going to be tough; we’ve got to get in front of them and play defense.”