Douglas boys topple North Valleys

Coming off a week-long layoff and heading in against one of the fastest offenses in the North, the Douglas boys' basketball team wasn't quite sure what to expect.

Even though the Tigers opened the game on a 11-0 run and never trailed, they were also never really able to get comfortable thanks mostly to North Valleys' superstar shooting guard Archie Kovich, who finished with 33 points.

Fortunately for Douglas, the Panthers didn't have a whole lot else to throw at them as Kovich accounted for more than half of his team's points while Douglas countered with a balanced offensive attack to pull away with a 77-63 victory in North Reno Tuesday night.

"We knew it would be a tough start to a tough week (Douglas playes at Reno Friday night)," Douglas coach Rob Streeter said. "North Valleys is extremely talented with a lot of athletic kids. They are one of the fastest teams that we'll see all year. " We put them up there with Arlington Country Day."

With the week off, the Tigers spent plenty of time working on ways to defend Kovich and while he still put up his points, they found ways to make him miss when it was important.

"I was excited coming into the game because we'd spent a lot of time in practice preparing specifically for him," said Douglas point guard Mike Gransbery, who finished with 14 points of his own, including two 3-pointers and a 4-for-4 night at the free throw line. "We'd been trying to use one of our own players to stand in as him during practice, but it just didn't compare.

"He got his points, but we forced some turnovers and limited his shot selection."

In fact, Douglas held North Valleys scoreless for the first three minutes of the game, which might have turned out to be the most pivotal stretch of the night.

While Kovich opened up 0-for-2 behind the 3-point line, Douglas opened up an 11-0 lead with three baskets from Keith Olson, one from Nate Whalin and a 3-pointer from Kevin Emm.

North Valleys answered with a 15-6 run to close the quarter, during which Kovich scored 13 of those points.

"When they started running like they can, I wanted to go with them punch-for-punch," Gransbery said. "I'm a soccer player and that's what you do, just run with them. It was tempting to try to answer them."

Olson, who finished with a team-leading 20 points, said the last two years of trying to do that against the Panthers has taught him better.

"Obviously, they start making some shots, you want to go with them," he said. "But you look up and see your coach's hands up in the air telling you to stop, you just have to trust him.

"We've been playing varsity for three years now and we know we can't play that game for extended periods of time."

Gransbery was quick to quip, "Oh, but we're getting better at it."


While the Tigers were content to play their methodic game and wear the Panthers down on the inside, they were able to put the game away using specifically what they hadn't been allowed to use earlier in the night.

North Valleys had managed to close the score to 53-47 by the end of the third quarter but Douglas came out running to open the fourth when the Panthers were just starting to show signs of not having the depth left to finish out the game.

"They switched to a 1-3-1 zone to open the fourth quarter and we got a big spark from James McLaughlin who was able to get to the rim on two big plays," Streeter said.

McLaughlin had two drives along the baseline during an 11-2 run to open the quarter and Douglas started taking advantage of a halfcourt trap North Valleys' was trying to implement.

"Coach Streeter prepared us really well," Gransbery said. "We knew their plays coming in and we knew what they were going to do. We saw them swith to that halfcourt defense in the fourth and we knew how to attack it."

"We're starting to figure out that we can slow the game down, but we can go fast," Olson said. "We we can set the tempo we want to play, we are tough to beat. When we can make it our game, that's when it works best for us."

Douglas (11-5, 2-0) also got 14 points out of Kevin Emm, who had perhaps his best offensive outing of the season, and nearly had five players in double figures with Jeff Nady and McLaughlin each scoring nine.

Joe Nady scored four points, Whalin and Brandon Bernard each had two and Jared Trowbridge finished with one.

"We did very well on the interior," Streeter said. "Jeff and Joe were crashing the boards. I was really proud of the kids. We got on the road and picked up our first road league win of the year against a tough team."

Douglas next faces Reno Friday night at 7 p.m. in Reno.

Lady Tigers pick up first league win

The Douglas girls' basketball team trailed twice in the third quarter to a tough North Valleys squad but came back to pick up their first Sierra League win of the season, a 43-37 triumph in North Reno Tuesday night.

Jessica Waggoner led the Tigers with 20 points as Douglas improved to 7-10, 1-1 on the year and did the bulk of her scoring when it counted the most, putting up seven of those in the fourth quarter.

Sarah Hartley also hit 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to help the Tigers put the game away and Douglas got four points apiece from Taryn Williams and Dany Heidt, three points from Bridget Maestretti, two points each from Kaela Horse and Nicole Didero and one point from Allie Hughes.

Aside from the gym lights going out with 20 seconds left in the game, causing a seven-minute delay, there were no real fireworks, thanks to the stingy Tiger defense.

Douglas next play at Reno Friday night at 5:15 p.m.


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