Basketball: Douglas boys fall to Hug, girls cruise to win |

Basketball: Douglas boys fall to Hug, girls cruise to win

by Joey Crandall

Anyone coming to see a track meet ended up getting essentially the exact opposite at Hug High School Friday night.

The Hug boys’ basketball team started fast, running up a 21-4 lead early on against Douglas, but had to hold off a strong Tiger rally for a 52-45 win in a grinder over the Tigers.

Douglas overcame its slow start to outscore Hug 41-32 over the final 23 minutes over the game, turning in one of its finest defensive performances of the year while winning the overall battle on the boards.

“We’ve established that these kids won’t give up,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “But, we need to be a team that starts right. If they start right, and don’t give up, we’ll have really good games.

“We just have to do a better job in preparation.”

Hug, which has been averaging 75.8 points per game this year, was held to a season-low 52 points in the game.

“We made adjustments heading into the second quarter,” Thacker said. “We had to. Otherwise, it was going to be 100-16. Our kids made the adjustments and started communicating on defense.

“They actually started playing defense and that made a huge difference.”

Douglas was missing junior standout forward Hunter Myers, who was out with a knee injury. He is expected back as early as next week.

Still, senior Trevor Shaffer assumed the bulk of the minutes in the post and came up with a game-high 18 points against mostly double coverage inside. Senior guard Nate VonAhsen filled in the extra spot in the starting lineup and came up with a number of big plays, particularly on defense.

“We saw guys step up tonight,” Thacker said. “Trevor has kind of picked up that role of emotional leader for us and he did a great job inside. He got some scores for us and he had a big night.

“Nate did a really good job stepping into a starting role off the bench. Matt Wylie gave us some good minutes inside. We saw good things there.”

Hug opened up the game rolling, using a pair of 3-pointers to open up an early 8-0 lead. The Hawks pushed it later to 14-2 and then 19-4 to close out the first quarter.

“You have to give credit to Hug,” Thacker said. “They came out and played hard and got to us.”

The Hawks pushed the lead to 21-4 on a basket from Andrew Johnson to start the second quarter but then Douglas started to peck away at the deficit.

It started with Trevor Shaffer drawing a foul on a made layup and converting the free throw. Jake Tessmann followed with a 3-pointer and a running jumper on the next two trips down the floor. VonAhsen then capped a 10-0 run with a put-back his own to close the gap to 21-14.

Hug stretched its lead back out with an 8-0 run but Douglas scraped back to within 11 at 29-18 heading into halftime.

The Tigers proceeded to put together one of their best quarters of the season in the third, owning the glass on both ends of the floor and outscoring the Hawks 13-6 with another 10-0 run in the middle.

“Hug does a great job crashing the boards,” Thacker said. “That’s how they get a lot of their points. We talked about that all week. You have to commend our kids for working so hard on the boards.”

Baskets from Shaffer and Tessmann to open the fourth tied the game up at 35.

Hug regrouped to string together an 8-2 run and managed to seal off the win from there with Johnson scoring seven points, including five free throws, in the final three minutes.

Douglas got 10 points from Nick Maestretti, seven from Tessmann, six from VonAhsen and two each from Austin Evans and Connor Hughes.

Johnson led Hug with 17, Sam Williams had 14 and Norris Dupree added nine.

Douglas strung together one of its best efforts of the season, cruising to a 46-26 win over the Hawks in Reno Friday night.

“We’re getting there,” Douglas coach Werner Christen said. “We’re starting to see the floor better, spacing better. We played pretty darn good on the half-court side.”

Douglas raced out to a 13-4 lead through the first quarter and didn’t look back.

Cora Moody had 12 points, Desiree Cage had 11 points, Ebony Cleveland had nine and Amanda Wartgow and Diana Regalado each scored four. Corynne Millett and Erika Munoz each scored two points.

“It was a good team win,” Christen said.