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Boys and girls show promise

by Chuck Smock, Sports editor

One short month ago, Douglas head coaches Werner Christen and Keith Lewis entered their respective basketball seasons with squads that were hoping to make up for a lack of varsity experience with youthful enthusiasm and intensity.

More than a dozen games later, the Douglas girls (6-9) and boys (7-5) are ready to start what promise to be challenging runs through the Sierra League schedule.

“I feel good,” said Lewis, who returned only three players from last year’s varsity team. “I think we’re about where we expected to be.

“We need to be a little more consistent, but we’re pleased with the development.”

Like Lewis, Christen began the season with only three players with varsity experience and only one returning starter. He said one of his goals early in the season was to get his team as many tough games as possible before the league season started.

“We don’t care about our record at the end of December,” Christen said. “We wanted to play tough opponents. Now we want to see if our tough preseason schedule helped us out.”

The Tigers will start the Sierra League season on Friday when they play host to the Reno Huskies. The girls’ game is scheduled to start at 5:15 p.m., with the tipoff for the boys’ game set for 7 p.m.

Both Reno teams are expected to contend for their league championships.

The Douglas girls will follow their game with the Huskies with a road game at McQueen on Saturday. The Lancers, along with the Galena Grizzlies, are among the favorites to win the High Desert League title.

“I think they’re anxious to see where they’re at,” Christen said of the Tigers. “We play the two best teams in the state next weekend. We’re not afraid of anyone. We’re not going to back down.”

The Reno boys needed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer in the final game of the season last year to defeat Douglas and clinch the league title. The Huskies return their top three players, David Padgett, Alex Gamboa and David Woods.

“A lot of people want to concede the league to Reno or Carson, but we’re not ready to make that concession,” Lewis said. “When league plays starts Jan. 5, we’re going to give Reno all they want and more.”