Obviously, Corey Thacker would have preferred to see a different outcome on the scoreboard.
There was a measure of consolation on Friday night after the Douglas High boys basketball coach watched Galena pull out a 47-46 Sierra League triumph on Noah Peck’s 3-pointer with 12.3 seconds left to play.
Consolation he hopes will pay off for Douglas (2-3 overall, 1-2 league) at the end of the season.
“This was a great game for our kids,” Thacker said. “I love this atmosphere, and we need that experience. We’ve got to get them that exposure for later on.”
A game that saw five lead changes in the second half at Randy Green Court was ultimately decided when Peck knocked down his 3-pointer from the right corner, erasing a two-point Douglas lead.
A.J. Pfaffenberger pulled up and hit a jumper to break a 43-all tie with 1:44 to go, then converted one of two free throws with 39.0 seconds left to give the Tigers a 46-44 lead.
The momentum shifted in the third quarter when Galena (3-3, 1-1) connected on three 3-pointers during a game changing 15-3 run. Peck drained a 3 ball from the right corner, assisted by Andrew Dobrowski, to give the Grizzlies their first lead of the night, 26-25.
Douglas answered on its next possession when James Herrick scored on a putback, however, Peck knocked down a jumper to put the Grizzlies back on top. Moments later, Peck went to the floor and pushed the ball out to Dobrowski, who hit nothing but net on his 3 ball to give Galena a 31-27 lead as Thacker called for a time-out with 3:39 left in the third period.
“They had six 3’s (in the game); we can’t let that happen,” Thacker said. “We knew they had good shooters coming in, we’ve just got to do a better job of locating those good shooters and making sure they don’t get loose.”
The Grizzlies stretched their lead to 35-28 with 1:32 left in the third period before Douglas rallied. Sophomore Michael Johnson buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key and Trey Maurer drove the lane and laid in a left-handed shot to make it 37-33 as time expired in the third period.
“Our guys didn’t hang their heads,” Thacker said of the comeback. “They busted their butts and got us right back in the game.”
The Tigers did so with their leading scorer, 6-foot-5 senior Austin Evans watching from the bench after leaving the game with a cut over his eye shortly before halftime. Evans was injured underneath the basket as he battled for a rebound.
Evans could have returned to play even though the cut required stitches, however, Thacker opted to hold him out as a precautionary measure.
“That was my decision,” the coach said.
Pat Johnson led Douglas offensively with 10 points, including a jumper assisted by Jaden Wass that gave the Tigers a 41-39 lead. Herrick added 9 points, 16 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Pfaffenberger also contributed 9 points and 3 steals.
Six-foot-6 junior Zack Lessinger scored 12 points to lead Galena. Peck finished with 11, including three 3-pointers.
The Douglas boys open Thursday in the Las Vegas Prep Championship with a 6 p.m. game against Cimarron-Memorial (Las Vegas). The Tigers return to action Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. to play Silverado (Las Vegas).