Boys’ Basketball: Douglas comes back to beat Damonte | RecordCourier.com

Boys’ Basketball: Douglas comes back to beat Damonte

by Joey Crandall

The Douglas High boys’ basketball team was cruising along just fine Friday night when Damonte Ranch broke out a defense the Tigers hadn’t previously seen out of the Mustangs on film.

The Tigers saw a 20-9 lead evaporate in a matter of minutes when Damonte Ranch broke out a 1-3-1 zone defense to quell Douglas’ attacking style of offense.

“We hadn’t seen them run that before,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “It stifled us a bit. We hesitated to attack it and they were getting offensive rebounds on the other side.”

Damonte outscored Douglas 23-12 in the quarter to knot the game up at 32 heading into halftime. By the end of the third quarter, the Mustangs led 49-45.

Fittingly, it was a late defensive adjustment on the Tigers’ part that ended up being the difference as Douglas came back to score a 74-62 win in Sierra League action Friday night.

The adjustment came with the Tigers leading 58-57 with 3:16 left in the game.

“It was just a matter of making sure we got to the rebounds on defense,” Thacker said. “They were killing us and we had to start getting bodies on guys. That’s something we really have to fix.

“Damonte did a very good job of crashing the boards tonight and that caused us a lot of trouble.”

Douglas forced a stop on Damonte’s following possession, Theo Denson hit a basket at the other end to stretch the lead to three. Matt Thomas grabbed a rebound following a Damonte free throw and Chris Downs drew a foul at the other end in what would be the decisive moment of the game.

The foul had been committed by Damonte standout Matt Nuthal, who scored a game-high 24 points and been slashing through the Tiger defense all night. It was his fifth foul, ending his night.

Downs hit both free throws, and would hit 6-of-6 down the stretch. Douglas hit 11-of-13 free throws in the fourth quarter to push ahead for the win.

Myers led Douglas with 20 points, Austin Neddenriep scored 15 with a pair of two 3-pointers and Downs and Denson each had 13 points.

Jorey Scott had five, Garrett Getty had two and Matt Thomas added one.

Douglas improved to 8-1 in Sierra League play with the win.