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DHS boys shoot down Reno

by Chuck Smock

Talk about your big wins.

The Douglas boys’ basketball team beat Reno High, 51-48, Tuesday in Reno. While handing the Huskies their first Sierra League loss of the season, the Tigers put themselves in a strong position to make a run at a playoff berth.

Douglas, Wooster and South Tahoe all entered the week tied for fourth place in the Sierra League standings with 2-4 records. Hug High was in third place at 3-3. Of those four teams, only the Tigers own wins over first-place Reno (5-1) and second-place Carson (4-2), which gives Douglas the advantage in tie-breaking situations.

The Tigers played at Hug on Tuesday in a huge game for both teams. Douglas will play host to Carson in its final home game of the season on Friday.

“We haven’t even talked to them about Carson,” Douglas coach Keith Lewis said Monday. “(Tuesday’s game at Hug High) is so critical. It’s for third place. We’re in last place, but if we, win we’re in third place.

“Depending what happens Tuesday night, if we could get a season sweep on them (the Senators), we’re not out of second (place). If we run the table and finish 4-0, we’re going to get second if Carson loses to Reno.”

The Tigers led the Huskies by 10 points with two minutes to play Tuesday, but had to withstand a late Reno charge to get the win.

That the Tigers had a lead at all in the fourth quarter was remarkable, considering they trailed 11-0 five minutes into the game.

“I think that’s where the defense won us the game,” Lewis said. “The way we came out and shot, the game could have been over had we not defended halfway decently. That (11-0) sounds like a a lot, but that was over five minutes.”

Seth Lee scored a game-high 25 points for the Tigers.

“Not by coincidence, Seth’s leadership has been outstanding in the two games we’ve won,” Lewis said. “He’s done a nice job pulling the team together. He’s been vocal in a positive way in the huddle. We need that from him, night in and night out.”

Luke Rippee and Erik Olson each scored six points for Douglas. Jared Kenison finished with five points.

The Tigers limited Reno sophomore David Padgett to 15 points and senior David Woods to 12 points.

“I thought Robby (Honer), Jared, Seth and Erik did a phenomenal job inside,” Lewis said. “They worked hard and they were very physical.

“This was definitely a team victory. Every guy we threw out on the court made a play.”

The Huskies played without starting guard Alex Gamboa, who was serving a one-game suspension imposed by his coach. Douglas’ Will Thomas missed the game with an illness.

“I was really, really proud of the way they played,” Lewis said. “They played very emotional and they played with focus. You look at the two games we’ve won, the Carson game and the Reno game, and there’s a total different level of focus in terms of them implementing the game plan and doing what we asked them to do.

“The referee came over with about three minutes to play and said, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen, but your kids have just played their (butts) off.’ And they did.”