Douglas High girls basketball coach Jason Carter wasn’t shy about his expectations for the Tigers.
With a slew of returning varsity talent, and a few newcomers who could make an impact, Carter and the Tigers are keeping their eyes on February.
“I hate to jinx it, but if everything goes well … with how flexible we are with all of our players, we really do have an opportunity to go far in the playoffs,” said Carter.
Douglas has seven seniors this winter.
Logan Karwoski and Sky Rasmussen were named captains, but their coach says the leadership on the team doesn’t stop with the “C.”
“Bringing a calming presence,” said Carter. “With seven seniors, they understand what we’re doing. They understand how hard they need to work.”
Karwoski put together 4.7 points per game last season along with about two rebounds per contest.
At guard, Rasmussen led the team in steals last year and will be a key distributor of the ball as the Tigers will look for a lot of inside-out chances offensively.
Forward Talia Tretton and guard Zora Simpson are back in the mix as seniors. Simpson led the team in scoring last winter (9.8 points per game) and Tretton posted five points per contest and could be counted on for rebounds or a steal.
Giana Zinke and Madison Frisby will be brought into the fold this winter.
All told, six members of the team have won state championships in other sports.
Aleeah Weaver, who was a first team all-region player last season, is back for her senior campaign after posting 9 points, 2.6 rebounds and an assist per contest.
Senior guard Mackenzie Main will be another crucial piece for Douglas this season after posting 5.5 points per game and being good for an assist and a steal per game.
“They know what it takes and they are going to put in that effort,” said Carter. “I’m excited to see where we end up at the end of the year.”
Juniors Ashlyn Greenfield and Ella Girdner are two more returning pieces from last season as is senior forward Malia De leon.
Annie Hill and Hailee Koontz round out the new additions to the varsity lineup.
“Koontz works her tail off. She’s that kind of player you hate to go against her. Annie Hill is another one in that boat. Defensively, she’s pushing those older guards to get better,” said Carter.
Carter says Douglas has players capable of running the floor or burning clock and setting up an offense in the half court.
Douglas wants to get 70 percent of its shots inside the key and around the elbow.
“That’s the beauty of this team so far. We can play a variety of defenses, offenses. The girls aren’t afraid to take big shots,” said Carter. “That’s a testament to them and their willingness to showcase what they can do.”
Competition in the 4A North
Douglas’ league opponents haven’t changed despite the classification drop.
Tiger fans will see the same eight league opponents as they did last year, but Class 5A is now a Southern Nevada classification only.
A big rule change this fall is the elimination of the 1-and-1 free throw or the single bonus.
The NFHS announced nationwide changes in the offseason to eliminate the single bonus and tally fouls by quarter, not halves.
This winter, a fifth team foul in a quarter will send the opposing team to the line to shoot two free throws.
The rule change follows that of the WNBA.
Looking at the region, Bishop Manogue and Reno will be stout opponents as usual.
McQueen and Spanish Springs were the fourth and fifth seeds last season and will undoubtedly cause problems in league play.
“We want to have fun. The successes are going to come with hard work and dedication. Their goals are to go deep in the playoffs,” said Carter.
Alongside Carter, the coaching staff will see Alicia Main back as assistant coach. Longtime Tiger basketball staple, Werner Christian, will join Karla Sanchez on the junior varsity.
(Tiger forward Logan Karwoski shoots during a game last year. Karwoski has been named a captain for this season. / Ron Harpin)