DHS boys host Fallon tonight | RecordCourier.com
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DHS boys host Fallon tonight

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas Tigers completed a perfect 5-0 run through the second half of Sierra League play Friday with a 60-48 win over the Wooster Colts in Reno.

Their reward for finishing second in the Sierra League standings is a home game in the first round of the 4A Region playoffs tonight at 7 p.m. against Fallon.

Douglas coach Keith Lewis said the home-court advantage could make the difference against a talented Greenwave team that enters the playoffs on a four-game winning streak that includes a victory over High Desert league champ Galena.

“That’s going to be huge,” Lewis said. “We have to have a big crowd. I encourage everyone to come out. We need the support. We need a packed gym. I think the kids deserve that. I think this is a product that Minden-Gardnerville can be very, very proud of. We have quality kids, good athletes, good students.”

The home playoff game will be the first for the Tigers since 1997.

“I would be very disappointed if we don’t pack the gym Wednesday night,” Lewis said.

Fallon defeated Douglas, 50-35, in Fallon on Dec. 12. Greenwave senior forward Aarik Wilson scored 21 of his game-high 27 points in the first half.

“We went up there and they kicked our (butts),” Douglas senior Seth Lee said. “Fallon is a good team. We have to be ready to play.”

In addition to finding a way to stop the very athletic Wilson, the Tigers will also have to contain hot-shooting guards Erick Weed and Chris Warner while limiting the touches center Tim Sorenson gets in the paint.

“They run some tough action to defend,” Lewis said. “The last few times we’ve played them, they’ve shot the ball well from the outside. If they’re hitting the 3-pointers, it really becomes hard to defend them because you have to go out on the perimeter and defend. You can’t sag and take away the inside post.”

Other first-round games today include: Elko at Reno; Carson at McQueen; and Hug at Galena. The four first-round winners will meet in the semifinals on Friday at Reno High. The championship game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Reno. The third-place game will start at 2:40 p.m. The top three teams will advance to next week’s NIAA/U.S. Bank State championship tournament at UNR’s Lawlor Events Center.

The Douglas boys haven’t played in the state tournament since 1992.

“We’re not just happy getting here,” Lewis said of the Region playoff berth. “We realize we’re going to have to play well on Wednesday. (Fallon coach) Corey (Williams) has them playing very, very well out in Fallon. We’re happy to get Fallon at home. I don’t know that we’re necessarily happy to get Fallon. I think they’re playing some of the best ball. I think it’s going to be very competitive. I think it’s going to come down to the fourth quarter.”

Which is nothing new for the Tigers, who outscored Wooster 15-7 over the final six minutes Friday to turn a four-point lead into a 12-point victory. Douglas was tied with South Tahoe last Tuesday with six minutes to play, but rallied to pull out a 55-51 win. And last Friday, the Tigers waged a back-and-forth fourth-quarter battle with the Carson Senators before securing a 70-62 victory in overtime.

“This whole stretch, our fourth quarters have been very, very tough,” Lewis said. “I told them I’ll take the ulcers that they’re going to create for me as long as they keep taking care of business in the fourth quarter.”

Seth Lee scored 19 points and Erik Olson finished with 17 to lead the Tigers past the Colts. Rob Honer scored 10 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Matt Saylo added six points and six rebounds.

The Tigers, who had made 83 percent of their free throws in each of their last three games, made only 20 of 35 (57 percent) of their foul shots against Wooster. Douglas did make nine of 13 (69 percent) free throws in the fourth quarter.

“We just found a way to win,” Lee said. “It was ugly. I wasn’t on tonight

and we didn’t play our best game. Maybe it’s good to get it out of our system now. We have to get ready for Wednesday. We usually play to the talent level of our opponent.”