DHS boys get win over Wooster | RecordCourier.com
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DHS boys get win over Wooster

Donnie Nelson

They’re off and running.

The Tigers worked well both in the key and out on the perimeter in a 58-46 victory over Wooster on Thursday in the league boys basketball opener. Senior center Andy Chichester poured in 14 points and pulled down 10 rebounds, and junior guard John Dunbar drained four three-pointers as the Tigers won for the second time at home in as many games.

“That was a real nice win,” Douglas coach Aubrey McCreary said. “In the second half the defense was the big key. We had some spurts and made a real nice spurt in the middle of the fourth quarter.”

Douglas’ defense was once again outstanding, holding the Colts to a 37.8 percent shooting performance (14-for-37) from the field and forcing the Colts into 21 turnovers. Douglas’ offense came around, too, making 25 field goals in a 42.4 percent shooting performance (25-for-59).

Douglas came up with 21 steals in the game and made some fantastic defensive stands down the stretch. Despite committing 18 turnovers of their own, the Tigers showed good interior passing and good ball movement and recognition around the three-point arc. It may have been the best offensive performance of the season for a team which is getting better all the time but still has a long way to go to be a factor come playoff time.

“(The offense) was better,” McCreary said. “We’ve been trying to work on it. Obviously, we scored more points than we had in the past. We still played a lot of guys.”

Douglas came out running on all cylinders.

Chichester put the Tigers on the scoreboard first when he put back an offensive rebound for a basket. Chichester scored again on the Tigers’ next trip down the floor when he set a backside pick, rolled down to the low post, slid across the lane and scored inside off a nice entry pass from sophomore Scott Warner. It was perfectly-executed, fundamental basketball by a big man who is becoming a bigger presence every game.

Dunbar buried his first trey, from the left wing, off a pass from Warner with 4:53 left in the first quarter to give the Tigers a 7-4 lead. Chad Cooke extended the lead to 9-4 with a jumper along the left baseline. Chichester then scored again when he came off a well-set screen along the baseline and converted off a nice entry pass from Dunbar. Warner capped a nice 9-2 run with a put back off an offensive rebound.

The Tigers, amazingly, scored on six of their first nine possessions and executed the half-court offense to near perfection.

Derek Burley, who led Wooster with 16 points, found his shot in the second quarter and Colts eventually pulled even at 25-all with three minutes left in the half.

The Tigers scored the final four points of the half and took a 29-26 lead into the intermission. Chichester cut down the key and scored off a nice lead pass from Jim Coyne for the first basket, and Matt Thomas took nearly the same route to the basket and scored off a pass from Chichester one possession later.

Douglas’ interior defense was also solid in the second quarter. Chichester and Tom Joyner continually got around Wooster players in the low post and either came up with a steal or knocked entry passes away. Joyner, like Chichester, also made a couple of nifty moves in the low post to score.

“Andy put it all together, ” McCreary said. “Joyner did a great job coming off the bench.”

For maybe the first time this season, Douglas was able to establish a real inside game. And, when Wooster surprised McCreary by playing a 2-3 zone, the Tigers, and Dunbar in particular, were able to loosen that up with clutch shooting from the outside.

The Tigers put together two mini runs in the third quarter to take control of the game.

They opened the second half with a 7-2 run on the heels of a three-pointer by Dunbar from the right wing, a basket by Chichester in the low post and a jumper by Coyne from the top. Cooke, who moved the ball around well in the half-court set, assisted on all three baskets.

The Tigers put together another 7-2 run in the middle of the third quarter. Thomas scored inside of a terrific cross court pass along the baseline from Joyner, Joyner scored on a post-up move on the right block, and Dunbar buried another trey from the right wing off a skip pass from Thomas.

It seemed like just about everybody had a hand in the offense when it was clicking.

Douglas owned the fourth quarter thanks to a solid defense.

It held the Colts scoreless for the opening 3:20 of the quarter and then allowed only one more basket, a put back of an offensive rebound, in the final 4:06. Wooster shot just 2-of-12 from the field, including 1-of-5 from behind the arc, in the fourth quarter. But, it was because of poor shooting, it was because of poor shooting opportunities caused by a heady defense.

Cooke finished with five assists, and Warner and Dunbar each finished with four steals. Thomas added eight points and seven rebounds.

Douglas will play host to Carson on Tuesday.