DHS girls top Reed 61-49 | RecordCourier.com

DHS girls top Reed 61-49

by Darrell Moody, Sports Editor

Werner Christen, Douglas High girls’ basketball coach, has watched his team play 10 times, and he still doesn’t know what to think quite yet.

“When we play the way we’re capable of, we’re fun to watch,” he said. “When we aren’t, it’s like a trip to the dentist.”

That, in a nutshell, summed up Douglas’ 61-49 nonleague win Monday over an outmanned Reed squad, which played without two starters, Maria Moore and Ravon Harrowa. Moore sat out for disciplinary reasons, and Harrowa is rumored to be academically ineligible.

The Tigers, 7-3, looked like world beaters in the first half in building a 12-point lead, puncturing Reed’s box-and-one zone with tremendous outside shooting by Julie Gingrich and Erin Brinkmeyer, who finished with 24 and 16 points, respectively.

However, they faltered at times in the second half, and had to withstand two late surges by Reed before pulling away in the final 90 seconds for the win.

“It was a nice way to go into Christmas,” Christen said. “That (defense) was something we hadn’t prepared for, but the kids did a good job. We kept that person moving, and that gave us some open looks at the basket.

“Our defense wasn’t very good overall, but we seemed to get a stop when we needed one, and offensively every time they would get to within five or six points, we were able to score.”

The win was Douglas’ second straight over Reed. The Tigers upset the Raiders in the first round of the playoffs last season, which started their surge to a state playoff berth.

“Douglas is a great basketball game,” Reed coach Richard Shaw said. “We’ll see them again. I’m pleased with the effort of the kids that normally don’t get a lot of work. Plus, we had two kids get hurt in the game, but that’s part of the game.”

Shaw was referring to Mary Palmer, who left in the first half with an ankle injury, and Brittany Moore, who was hurt in the final minute of play after colliding with Gingrich. Moore led Reed with 12, but didn’t score in the fourth period. Palmer had four quick first-quarter points before her injury.

Shaw was more concerned about Puzey, who has played more of a power forward spot compared to being a small forward or off guard last season.

That allowed Brinkmeyer and Gingrich to feast on the Reed zone. The Tigers bolted to a 16-7 lead, as Brinkmeyer scored eight quick points and Gingrich added a three-pointer.

“Historically, Puzey has been the (outside) shooter,” Shaw said. “Give Brinkmeyer some credit for hitting the shots. She’s supposed to come out and make baskets.”

Puzey said the strategy didn’t surprise her.

“I’ve played against some of their girls before, so they know me well,” Puzey said. “Maybe they wanted to keep me off the glass. It freed everybody up so much.”

Puzey finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Reed cut the lead to 25-21 early in the second period, but the Tigers went on a 12-2 run to extend their lead.

Gingrich bombed in a trey, and after a Reed turnover, Kellei Kizer knocked in a trifecta. After two free throws by Jessica Echevaria, the Tigers rattled off six more points to take a 37-23 lead on a putback by Puzey and four points by Gingrich.

Reed stepped up the pressure in the second half, cutting the lead to 45-39 with around three minutes left. Erica Maldonado, who had been sick and missed three games, scored six points in the 11-5 run, and Moore added five points.

Gingrich scored the Tigers’ first six points of the fourth quarter to make it 55-48 with 3:38 left. Kelsey Wallace knocked down a free throw, but four straight points by Puzey made it 59-49 with 56.4 remaining.