Douglas High boys basketball

Tiger boys can't pull out comeback against Reed

Douglas High senior Kyle Koontz goes up and under for a bucket Friday night against Reed.

Douglas High senior Kyle Koontz goes up and under for a bucket Friday night against Reed.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

For stretches Friday night there wasn’t much Douglas High boys basketball could do to slow down Reed and guard TJ Coulter.

The Raiders escaped Minden with a 77-73 win over the Tigers thanks, in part, due to Coulter dropping 43 total points, hitting seven triples and his free throws down the stretch.

“We didn’t do what we wanted to do against him,” said Douglas head coach Corey Thacker. “It was just us not doing what we needed to do defensively. … TJ is good. He’s shifty, he’s good, but we didn’t do what we needed to against him.”

The Raiders used screens in bunches to get their guard space and the Tigers weren’t able to get up over the screens, allowing Coulter space to fire from deep.

Starting the rally

After Coulter opened up the fourth quarter with his seventh triple of the evening, the Raiders had built a 16-point lead, 58-42.

The Tigers responded with a 9-2 run after Caden Thacker hit a mid-range jumper and then found Kyle Koontz for an and-one opportunity after a Jeremiah Pitts triple.

Following a Jett Lehmann offensive rebound and score, Thacker picked up three points at the charity stripe after getting fouled behind the arc.

After the junior’s three free throws, Douglas trailed 62-54 with less than five minutes to go.

Reed pushed the contest back to 11, 65-54, but the Tigers scored the next five points all courtesy of Trace Estes.

Estes poked a steal away for a layup and then grabbed an offensive rebound the next time down the floor for three points on an and-one of his own, cutting the gap to six, 65-59.

Coulter responded with his own three-point play, knocking down a free throw to push the Raider lead back to nine.

Inside of the final 90 seconds, Lehmann found Thacker for back-to-back layups, slicing Reed’s lead to 68-64 with just under a minute to play.

The Tigers kept pushing to even the score, but Reed closed out the contest going 9-of-12 from the charity stripe in the final 60 seconds to keep Douglas at bay.

“We struggled focusing defensively, like the entire game. To give up 77 points, we can’t let that happen,” said Thacker. “To win games down the stretch you have to play D and we didn’t do that tonight, especially at our place.”

Around the league

A win Friday night would’ve given Douglas a small amount of breathing room in the jumbled Class 4A North.

Instead, the Tigers fall into a four-way tie for third with a 5-5 league record.

Reed, Bishop Manogue and Spanish Springs are the other three programs with a 5-5 clip in the 4A North.

UP NEXT: The coming week will be a chance for the Tigers to find some separation.

Tuesday, Douglas will host Reno (15-4, 9-1) before traveling North Thursday for another meeting with Bishop Manogue (7-12, 5-5).


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