Douglas High girls basketball

Cougars cage Tigers state dreams in semis

Douglas High senior Zora Simpson scores two of her team-high 11 points Thursday night at Spanish Springs, during the Class 4A North regional semifinal.

Douglas High senior Zora Simpson scores two of her team-high 11 points Thursday night at Spanish Springs, during the Class 4A North regional semifinal.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

It was a battle through the second half, but Douglas High School girls basketball had too big a hole to climb out of in Thursday night’s Class 4A North regional semifinal at Spanish Springs.

By the final buzzer, the second-seeded Cougars had downed the Tigers, 61-48.

Spanish Springs will take on No. 1 Bishop Manogue Saturday at Carson High School at 4 p.m. for the regional title. 

Douglas closes out its season with an 18-9 overall record.

The Tigers outscored Spanish Springs 38-32 in the second half, but it was the first half deficit that determined the outcome.

Working out of a jam

The perseverance of the Tigers in the second half should leave Douglas with its head held high.

However, the first 16 minutes were the difference Thursday night.

The Tigers scored the first bucket of the game to go up 2-0, but were held without another field goal until the 5:46 mark of the second quarter.

At that point, Douglas trailed 17-6 as Spanish Springs’ Reese Wakefield began to heat up from beyond-the-arc.

Wakefield hit back-to-back triples and, in doing so, broke the Cougars’ career mark for 3-pointers with 105. Wakefield ended the evening with a game-high 20 points.

Despite having several chances in the paint, the Tigers went another four minutes without a basket, falling behind 27-8 with 1:30 to go in the opening half.

Douglas went into the locker room down 29-10.

“We had looks. We had good looks and it just didn’t fall through,” said Douglas head coach Jason Carter. “We just ran out of time. Take away that first quarter and part of that second quarter and it’s a different ballgame, but that’s just the nature of the beast.”

In the third quarter, the Tigers were able to cut the gap to 11 after Ashlyn Greenfield had a pair of steals that led to transition layups.

Greenfield scored the last basket of the third quarter, which brought Douglas within 11, 39-28.

As the Cougars continued to knock down shots, Douglas continued to get after loose balls to try and gain extra possession.

Early in the fourth, senior Aleeah Weaver dove on the floor to get possession, kicking a pass to Greenfield, who found senior Logan Karwoski for an interior bucket.

Douglas’ next bucket came after a Karwoski steal, which resulted in a McKenzie Main triple from the top of the arc.

The 3-pointer kept the gap at 11, 44-33.

The closest the Tigers got in the second half came with 4:54 to go in regulation after Weaver went nearly the length of the floor for a layup and drew a foul before sinking the additional free throw, making it 46-36, Spanish Springs.

However, the Cougars responded with a 10-4 run over the next couple of minutes to push the lead back to 16 points, 56-40.

“Completely happy with how we battled in the second half,” Carter said.

Senior Zora Simpson ended the night with a team-high 11 points for Douglas while Weaver and Main each had nine.

Karwoksi and Greenfield finished with eight points apiece as Douglas responded with 38 points in the second half.

The Tigers will graduate seven seniors from this year’s squad.

“I think it’s a testament to the girls and to our program. We have high expectations and the girls play to that,” said Carter. “I’m more excited to see what the next chapter of their lives are going to be like. They are great people. … To be able to be a part of that with them, I couldn’t be more proud of that.”

(Aleeah Weaver cuts to the hoop Thursday night against Spanish Springs in the Class 4A North regional semifinal. Weaver, a senior, finished the contest with nine points for the Tigers. / Ron Harpin)


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