Douglas High girls basketball
Douglas High junior combo guard Camden Miller (22) goes up for layup Tuesday night in the Class 5A regional quarterfinal. Miller ended the night with a game-high 18 points, nine rebounds, several steals and multiple assists.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
Tuesday night was exactly the postseason opener the Douglas High girls’ basketball was looking for, as the Tigers put together a 50-26 win over No. 6 Galena to move into the Class 5A regional semifinals.
A 17-0 run to open the contest guided the No. 3 Tigers into their first regional semifinal since 2019.
Douglas will head to No. 2 Damonte Ranch for Thursday’s regional semifinal.
The two teams have split their two meetings this season, as the road team has managed to win both contests.
The winner of Thursday’s semifinal will clinch a spot in the Class 5A state tournament and earn a shot to play for the regional title Saturday at Carson High at 4:30 p.m.
Tip-off for the regional semifinal Thursday is set for 6:30 p.m.
“I think our energy (is important) and not letting the game get bigger than it is,” said Douglas senior Riley Mello of the game plan going into Thursday. “Our defense and moving the ball around. … Keep playing as a family and finish the season strong.”
Opening half run
Douglas couldn’t have asked for a much better start defensively, holding the Grizzlies scoreless through the opening quarter.
In fact, Douglas held a 17-0 lead midway through the second quarter before the Grizzlies were able to find the score sheet.
“We just tried to start strong and communicate on defense,” said Mello. “It was nice to not have to think about it too much.”
Douglas’ 2-3 zone limited opportunities and active hands also allowed the Tigers to poke away multiple steals.
Camden Miller found Addy Doerr for back-to-back layups to take a 6-0 lead in the opening quarter.
Off of an out of bounds play, Doerr was again on the receiving end of a Miller pass for a layup to give the Tigers a 15-0 lead early in the second quarter.
Miller had seven points of her own in the opening half, including a triple to beat the halftime buzzer. She finished the night with a team-high 18 points and nine rebounds to go along with a handful of assists.
In the final 2:30 of the opening half, Galena was able to go on an 11-0 run to cut a 17-0 gap to 17-11.
After stopping the Grizzles with six seconds left in the half, Miller walked up the court and drained a triple from a few feet behind the 3-point line to head into half with a 20-11 lead.
The triple from the Tiger junior stopped the Grizzlies lone scoring run of the opening half.
“She’s a really important player. Her energy lifts us all up, even the bench,” said Mello, who ended the night with nine points of her own.
Katrina Butalon came on in the second half with 11 points, knocking down a triple off of a Doerr assist and sinking a pair of buckets before getting to the free throw line for a few more.
After scoring 20 points in the first half, Douglas was able to put the game on ice with back-to-back 15-point quarters in the second half.
With a win in the regional semifinal, Douglas would clinch a spot in the regional final and punch their ticket to the state tournament.
Per the NIAA record book, the Douglas High girls’ basketball team hasn’t reached the state tournament since 2002 where the Tigers fell to Centennial, 76-74, in double OT in the state final.