Douglas High boys basketball
Douglas High's Chris Myers (32) goes up for two of his six points in the Tigers' regional semifinal win over Bishop Manogue Wednesday night. The Tigers punched their ticket to the Class 5A state tournament with the win.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
RENO – For the first time in a decade the Douglas High boys’ basketball team is headed to the state tournament.
A 59-53 win over Bishop Manogue Wednesday sealed the deal and secured not only a trip to the state tournament, but a chance to pick up a Class 5A North regional title along the way.
Douglas has now guaranteed itself two more games this season, starting with the regional finals.
Top-seeded Spanish Springs will meet Douglas at Carson High Saturday at 6:30 p.m. to decide the regional crown.
“The squad started in third grade,” said senior Chris Myers, who had six points in the win. “It’s exhilarating.”
“This summer we said, ‘state starts now,’ if we want to make it," added fellow senior Kasen Boggs. "Look at us now.”
(The Douglas High bench reacts as time expires in the Class 5A regional semifinal Wednesday night at Bishop Manogue. The Tigers clinched a state tournament berth with the win. / Ron Harpin)
Finding the separation
Douglas jumped out to a 12-0 lead to start the regional semifinal.
That margin closed to six points as the two squads went into halftime before the Miners were able to cut it to one, 40-39, midway through the third quarter.
Chris Smalley led the Tigers in scoring in the first half, but his third and fourth foul early in the third quarter forced the senior forward to sit for a good chunk of the second half.
While his presence on the inside was missed, the Tigers continued to show as the better team even without one of their senior leaders.
Boggs, who ended the night with a game-high 22 points, scored eight of the Tigers’ next 10 points after Smalley checked out.
After a Boggs' spinning layup gave Douglas a 48-41 lead, Bishop Manogue was able to trim to margin to three, 50-47, heading into the final quarter.
The final eight minutes were controlled by defense and both teams battling to keep their season’s alive.
Ultimately, Douglas held Bishop Manogue to six points in the final quarter and kept the Miners off the scoreboard for nearly the final four minutes of the contest.
Up 57-53 with 25 seconds to play, Boggs couldn’t knock down the back end of his one-and-one.
However, Smalley had checked back into the game and swallowed up the offensive rebound to get back to the charity stripe.
After scoring 13 points in opening half, Smalley’s offensive board and final free throw may have been the biggest difference maker, giving Douglas a 58-53 lead.
“He played smart when he had the fouls. That’s all we needed out of him,” said Boggs of Smalley.
“I’m proud of him,” added Myers. “Today was a different side of him.”
In the moments following the win, Boggs joked that it’s usually been the Tigers’ defense that has gotten them into trouble this year.
That wasn’t the case Wednesday night.
“We just sat down and played D, and it worked,” said Boggs.
JC Reid added 10 points for the Tigers in the win.
All eyes on the Tigers
Saturday, the Tigers will take on Spanish Springs at Carson High.
The last time Douglas played at Carson, the Tigers tied a state record, knocking down 20 3-pointers as a team in the win.
“That’s our home gym now,” laughed Boggs.
Douglas won’t have a chance to star on their home floor again with the state tournament being held at Lawlor Events Center in Reno.
The Tigers have been introduced at home this season to ‘All Eyes on Me’ by 2Pac when in Minden.
With a regional final ahead and the state tournament to follow, the Tigers can be assured all the eyes in the Carson Valley are on them.
Class 5A regional semifinal scores
No. 3 Douglas 59, No. 2 Bishop Manogue 53
No. 1 Spanish Springs 56, No. 5 Damonte Ranch 37