The Northern 4A Regional Basketball playoffs are upon us this week, and for the first time since in at least 10 years (Our records currently only go back so far ... This might be the first time this has happened in school history) both the Douglas boys' and girls' basketball teams will be hosting a first-round game.
Tuesday night brings one of the best matchups of the entire boys' bracket with up-tempo Reed coming to town to mix with the physical Tiger squad.
The two teams met up in the first week of the season and the Raiders escaped with a 50-49 win over the Tigers. Douglas put together a furious comeback, outscoring Reed 21-4 over the final quarter and holding the Raiders without a field goal over the final seven minutes.
The boys' Northern 4A this season has exhibited a lot of parity and that could translate to quite an entertaining tournament all the way around. While Reno is the favorite, it really is anyone's ballgame.
Just a note: Two teams earn a state berth this year.
The girls' should be able to play in an equally-entertaining matchup Wednesday night as the Spanish Springs Cougars come to town.
The Cougars possess a lot of depth, which could cause problems late in the game for the Tigers, but Douglas has one of the best post players in the region in Jessica Waggoner.
A win would most-likely set Douglas up against a tough Reed team that has not lost to a Northern Nevada squad this year.
Time will tell, but logic dictates that the regional championship would be a much-anticipated battle between Reno and Reed. It's the playoffs, though, and crazy things happen.
Heading into the league season, I published a list of my predictions for the final standings. It's time to face the music.
Following is the final standings in order followed by my prediction six weeks ago in parentheses:
High Desert Boys
1. Galena (1)
2. Manogue (3)
3. Reed (2)
4. Spanish Springs (5)
5. Fallon (6)
6. Elko (4)
7. McQueen (7)
- Galena was no surprise, but Manogue stayed much steadier than I figured it would. Reed fell victim to a tough two-week stretch and lost footing because of it and Spanish Springs turned out to be pretty solid. If you want a dark horse pick to reach the finals, try Spanish Springs on for size. If the Cougars could get past Reno (and that is a HUGE "if") their road isn't overwhelmingly tough.
1. Reno (2)
2. Douglas (1)
3. Hug (4)
4. Damonte Ranch (5)
5. South Tahoe (8)
6. Carson (3)
7. North Valleys (7)
8. Wooster (6)
- Well ... I was way off. Through the first half of the Douglas-Reno matchup, part 1, it looked like I might have been onto something. Then the Huskies woke up. Damonte Ranch went on a dream run to end the year and qualified for the playoffs. If ever there were an upset in the making, watch the Damonte-Galena matchup Tuesday night. The Mustangs just might be able to scratch one out if they can find a lock-down defensively on Galena's Luke Babbitt.
High Desert Girls
1. Reed (1)
2. Galena (3)
3. Spanish Springs (6)
4. Manogue (4)
5. Elko (2)
6. McQueen (5)
7. Fallon (7)
- No surprises in the playoffs for me, save the omission of Elko. Spanish Springs has proven to be a truly strong program, and was the only team in the North to give Reed a run for its money. This Cougar squad could make some noise in the playoffs. Unfortunately, that could come at the expense of the Tigers.
1. Reno (1)
2. Douglas (2)
3. North Valleys (6)
4. Hug (5)
5. South Tahoe (4)
6. Damonte Ranch (7)
7. Carson (8)
8. Wooster (3)
- Wooster was the biggest dissappointment to me, although they lost one of their stars halfway through to an injury. It ended up being a tale of Reno, Douglas and all the rest. Kudos to North Valleys for stepping up with a skeleton crew and taking the 3 seed.
I actually ended up spending the entire last week on the couch after going to the emergency room with what I thought was the flu.
I was in surgery having my appendix removed four hours later.
In the meantime, the New York Giants pulled off the most stunning upset in Super Bowl history and "Lost" went in a brand new direction that finally broke my interest in the show entirely.
The four days in between those two events are just kind of a blur.
- While trying to warm-up during the pre-game shoot-around for the Damonte-Douglas game two weeks ago, Damonte Ranch's Josh Butler went up for a dunk and came down badly on his ankle. He played only sparingly in the game.
Not that it ended up mattering for the Mustangs, as they went on to pick up the biggest upset win in the program's history, but maybe that's the reason dunking during warm-ups is a technical foul once the referees are on the floor.
- I mentioned in my last column that there are at least nine different Tiger logos in the Douglas High School gym. I counted again and realized there are only eight.