Defense has been the cornerstone all season for the Douglas High girls basketball team, especially so far through 13 Sierra League games.
If there has been any letdown, it came on Jan. 10 when the Tigers absorbed a 64-51 loss against Bishop Manogue in Reno. Hannah Santos hit seven 3-pointers and scored 23 points that night as Manogue took over the league lead.
Today, Douglas (18-6 overall, 11-2 league) has an opportunity to gain a measure of revenge and to regain possession of first-place when it hosts Manogue in a 5:15 p.m. showdown between co-league leaders at Randy Green Court. Both teams are assured of finishing either first or second in the league and hosting an opening round game for the Division I Northern Region Tournament in two weeks.
This is also Hall of Fame night for Douglas, with 2005 graduates Tammy Gough and Brittany Puzey due to be inducted during a ceremony at halftime of the boys contest.
The Tigers have won seven straight games since absorbing that loss at Manogue, the only time they have allowed more than 60 points to any opponent all season. Douglas has allowed an average of 31.3 points during its seven-game win streak.
“It’s the biggest game we’ve had here (with the girls program) in awhile, obviously,” said coach Werner Christen, whose Tigers are coming off a 58-46 win Tuesday at McQueen. “We still have two more big games next week, but this one would give us the tie-breaker advantage.”
First, Douglas must get past a potent Manogue squad that is 15-4 overall this season.
“We’ve got to stop Santos and (Malia) Holt (20.4 points per game), two amazing players, and the rest of their players are good, too,” Christen said. “They’ve got a good crew and Craig (Holt, coach) does a great job with them.
“I’m curious to see how we play,” Christen added. “Give them credit. They scored 64 points against us last time; that’s a lot of points. If we give up 64 points again, we’re going to lose.”
Even if the Tigers win tonight, they still close out the regular season with a difficult schedule next week. They start with a game Tuesday at third-place Damonte Ranch and then come back on Friday to play at home against arch rival Carson, currently fourth in the league.
On Tuesday, the Tigers had to play catchup against a McQueen (7-13, 4-9 league) team that came into the night riding a three-game win streak.
The Lancers led 15-11 at the end of one quarter and maintained their lead until late in the second quarter. Douglas went to its bench and received an assortment of contributions to rally for a 24-21 at halftime. The Tigers extended their advantage to 43-32 at the end of three quarters.
“It was a great team effort,” Christen said.