Douglas high girls basketball team is NIAA division academic champ |

Douglas high girls basketball team is NIAA division academic champ

Lorna McDaniel

Douglas High School girls varsity basketball players proved to Nevada that they are smart and strong.

The girls had a combined overall average grade point average of 3.718, which won them the Nevada Interscholastic Ativities Association (NIAA) state academic champion title, according to Bev Jeans, Douglas High School principal.

“Not only are they exceptional athletes,” she said, “they are responsible, too.”

The lady Tigers will be given the award at half-time of the girls’ state championship game today at the Lawlor Events Center, in Reno. The game starts at 7:55 p.m.

The team’s grades made them top scholars over 30 other high schools in their division.

The girls juggled school and basketball to come out with an 11-game win, which qualified them for zone.

This is the first time since 1984 the girls team has had a winning record.

“Getting the state academic championship is much more important than winning the divisional title,” said coach Randy Green. “I’m real proud of this award.

“Obviously academics is more important, that is why they are there. We’ve always stressed that.

“Their talents are not anything that I did. It comes from their parents and their own motivation – being interested in their education.

“They are a quality group of young people.”

He added that he was proud of their athletic achievements as well because last year the varsity team didn’t win any games.

Participating in the sport from mid-November to the beginning of March, is demanding, requiring about 50, 2 1/2-hour practices, 21 games with travel time, Green said.

He said many times the girls will do their homework on the bus to and from games.

“They just squeeze in 15-20 minutes here and there, (to do homework),” he said. “Sometimes they work too hard between athletics and school and, they don’t get any break.”

For Cori Doherty, 17, playing high school basketball was a lesson in time management.

She said she had to balance her time between not only basketball but homework, student government and other clubs she participated in.

She also is taking correspondence courses from the University of Nevada and Brigham Young University in college French and calligraphy.

She still pulled a 4.05 GPA and ranks 7th out of 365 in the 1997 graduating class, she said.

“(Playing basketball) makes me more responsible and taught me team work, which will help for jobs – being able to get along with a bunch of different people.”

She said she doesn’t plan to play basketball in college, where she wants to study chemical or computer engineering.

Jessica Wixom, 17, said she plans to play basketball in college. She is hoping to go to the University of Redlands or UNR next year. She would like to be an elementary or English teacher.

Holding a 4.0 GPA during basketball and a cumulative GPA of 3.7 she said, “My parents have always advocated good grades or to try as hard as you can.”

The girls think as highly of their coach as he does of them.

“I’m glad he got to coach me,” said 17-year-old Christina Thomas. “He showed us that (basketball) is only a small part of our lives.

“He always puts things into perspective.”

Thomas, who graduates this year, plans to continue to play basketball in college but hasn’t chosen a college yet.

Kaycee Green, 15, not only thinks highly of her coach, she says it is the best part of school, being able to be there with her dad.

She said that during the season the Greens had an agreement to keep their home life and basketball separate.

“At home he was my dad and at practice he was my coach,” she said.

Other players included in the award are: Rosalyn Zinke, Rosie Contri, Molly Greenberg, Maya Woods, Brooke Kizer, Jenny Smokey, Tomasa Kizer, Courtney Dirksen, Lulu Sewell, Rebecca Rippee and Cari VanderDussen.

All-State awards, for students maintaining a 4.0 during the previous semester will be given to Lulu Sewell, Courtney Dirksen and Jessica Wixom.

Raul Carranza and Rollin Smokey were named to the Boys State Academic Championships for Douglas.