Boys basketball: Douglas continues to grow as a team | RecordCourier.com

Boys basketball: Douglas continues to grow as a team

by Joey Crandall

The pieces are slowly starting to come together for the Douglas High School boys basketball team.

Douglas gave the tough Madison Ridgeland Academy out of Mississippi a run Monday night before the Patriots were able to run the clock out in a 67-61 win at Reno High School in the Wild West Shootout.

“We grew up a lot tonight,” Douglas coach Keith Lewis said. “We talked a lot beforehand about coming out and not just making the quick pass and then shooting, because that has been killing us.

“We had a lot of guys step up tonight and play key roles for us. A lot of teams in our league have seven or eight wins right now, but they have not played the schedule we have. We are going to be OK, we are going to get there.”

Mike Gransbery had a breakout night for Douglas, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 18 points. Reese Kizer also took some large strides at point guard, scoring seven points and distributing the ball well.

Douglas got a boost with the much-anticipated return of shooting guard Eric Emm, who hit his only 3-point attempt of the night on his way to a five-point performance. Emm has been out with a knee injury suffered during football season.

Senior forward Collin Kamholz put up seven points and Tiger center Keith Olson had eight. Skylar McNabb added six points.

Douglas also got forward Nate Whalin back from an ankle injury that kept him out of Friday’s game against McQueen, and Whalin put up four points in his return.

Douglas shot well from behind the arc, hitting six 3-pointers as a team and showed noticeable progress in moving the ball around the perimeter throughout the game.

After a quick Olson basket to open the game, Madison Ridgeland answered with two scores and led through the remainder, working the difference to more than 10 points several times, but Douglas was able to close the gap with its sharp shooting and a tightened-up defense in the fourth quarter.

“Overall I was pleased with the effort,” Lewis said. “They’re out there working hard, and you can’t ask for much more.”

With the Tigers trailing by eight late in the game, Olson scored and Emm followed with his 3-pointer to bring Douglas within three points.

The Patriots answered with a basket from Sam Bolen, who had 16 points on the night. Brandon Bolen added 16 for Madison Ridgeland.

Emm came back down the floor and scored to bring Douglas back within three.

The Tigers were unable to corral a rebound in the last minute as Madison Ridgeland put up several shots while clinging to its slim lead before Mike Kirschten hit a big 3-pointer behind a double screen with 16 seconds left to put the game away.

“We couldn’t come up with those rebounds, and that’s what killed us tonight,” Lewis said. “It’s another thing we’re going to have to work on.”

MADISON RIDGELAND 67, DOUGLAS 61

Douglas 11 20 14 16 — 61

Madison Ridgeland 18 18 18 13 — 67

DOUGLAS (3-5)

Kizer 3 0-0 7, Brady 1 0-0 2, Gransbery 7 1-3 18, Whalin 1 1-2 4, McNabb 2 2-2 6, Kamholz 2 3-4 7, Emm 2 0-0 5, Estes 2 0-0 4, Olson 3 2-2 8. Totals — 23 10-13 61. Total fouls — 11. 3-pointers — Kizer 1, Gransbery 3, Whalin 1, Emm 1. Fouled out — None. Technicals — None.

MADISON RIDGELAND

Armstrong 3 0-0 7, Kirschten 5 0-0 11, Armstrong 5 0-0 13, S. Bolen 6 4-6 16, B. Bolen 8 0-0 16, Walker 2 0-0 4. Totals — 29 4-6 67. Total fouls — 11. Fouled out — None. Technicals — None.

— Joey Crandall can be reached at jcrandall@recordcourier.com or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.