Boys’ Basketball: Douglas pushes past Carson
Just like that, the toughest week the Douglas boys’ basketball team will see until the regional playoffs is over.
Having already escaped with a close win over No. 4 McQueen earlier in the week, Douglas bounced back from Friday night’s loss at top-ranked Manogue to claim a 60-46 victory at rival Carson in a subdued Morse Burley Gymnasium Saturday night.
“After this three-game stretch, I was very happy that the kids stepped out and took care of business tonight,” Douglas Corey Thacker said. “The energy in the gym tonight wasn’t really like it usually is for this game and our energy wasn’t there as a team at first. The guys found a way to get ahead and build that lead when it counted.”
Douglas has certainly found a fan in Carson head coach Bruce Barnes.
“I told Corey this summer that this is the best Douglas team I have seen in 10 or 12 years,” Barnes said. “They have all the pieces. They have depth, they have size and they have athleticism.
“Those are the three components you need and most teams, except Manogue, are really going to struggle matching up with them.”
Douglas jumped out to an 11-2 lead thanks in large part to a 10-0 run made up entirely of baskets from big men Hunter Myers and Matt Thomas.
Carson made some adjustments on defense and Douglas went away from the post a bit and the Tiger didn’t get another field goal from their posts over the next 18 minutes of game time.
“We said going in that we were going to have make them hit outside shots,” Barnes said. “We wanted to cheat inside a bit on defense and force them outside.
“Then they started hitting outside jumpers.”
Indeed, while the point in the paint dried up a bit, Douglas was still able to build its lead, particularly with a string of extended possessions in the fourth quarter.
“We were focusing on running 25, 30 seconds off the clock,” Thacker said. “We wanted to make sure we ran our game and not fall into the opponents game. That’s something we struggled with against Manogue.”
The Tigers transformed an 11-point halftime lead into 20 midway through the fourth quarter after Myers got going again.
Aside from his team-high 15 points, the sophomore Myers had a number of key deflections and blocked shots on defense that propelled the Tigers to the win.
“Hunter had a great game,” Thacker said. “He made his presence known inside and played really well.”
Trevor Shaffer and Garrett Getty each scored eight points for the Tigers while Chris Downs and Theo Denson each had seven.
Thomas finished with six, which were all scored during the early run.
“Of course we came in wanting to control the pace, but they’re the type of team that doesn’t really let you do that,” Barnes said. “They make it tough. They’re awfully big, deep and athletic on the perimeter.”
Chris Steele scored a game-high 17 points to lead Carson while Brian Barnes added 10 and Matt Nolan had eight. Chance Quilling and Trey Jensen each had five.
Things won’t get easier for the Senators as they host defending regional-champ Manogue Tuesday.
“We just have to turn the page, show up Tuesday and see what we can do,” Barnes said. “You have to pick your poison with Manogue too.
“You look at our league, Manogue and Douglas are the top two with little question. Then the other four of us are fighting for the other two playoff spots. I think that is the reality.”