Douglas boys falter in Vacaville | RecordCourier.com

Douglas boys falter in Vacaville

by Darrell Moody, Sports Editor

One thing for sure, Douglas High boys basketball coach Keith Lewis will get his patience tested plenty this season.

Lewis has a talented squad, but it’s a young one with 10 underclassmen on the 13-man roster. Young squads are prone to inconsistent play, and the Tigers are off to a rocky 2-7 start after losing three straight last weekend in Vacaville.

After opening with a 65-59 loss to a talented Vanden-Fairfield squad, the Tigers lost 62-57 to Foothill-Redding and 53-46 to Galileo-San Francisco.

Luke Rippee scored 21 in the tourney opener, and Travis Stuman scored 15 in the loss to Foothill. Tommy Welton scored 12 off the bench against Galileo, and Rippee added eight.

“We go from looking like we can play with anybody one minute to a team that couldn’t beat anybody the next,” said Lewis, whose team visits Incline on Monday night. “Consistently, we’ve been hurt by a lack of consistency.

“We haven’t had any kids put up good back-to-back games. We’re nine games into the season, and we still have some positions that are still wide open .”

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In both the Vacaville tournament and the Carson Valley Classic, the Tigers played well the first night, but faltered the next two nights.

Lewis said another reason for the slow start is the team’s schedule, and as head coach, he takes the blame for that.

Young teams need practice time, and when you play in tournaments back-to-back weeks like the Tigers did, you don’t get time to correct mistakes.

So, the focus in the next 10-to-12 days before the prestigious National Prep Classic in San Diego will be to get improved play from his front-line players, get his players in better shape and play better defense.

“Our fours (Anthony Walter, Ryan Waffird and Andy McIntosh) and fives (Tyler Hales and Chris Honer) need to step up,” Lewis said. “We’re not rebounding well, and we’re having too many defensive breakdowns.

“We’re not in condition. We’ve been playing so many kids, they are not

used to playing prolonged minutes.”

The Douglas coach said the Tigers are in a favorable bracket in San Diego, but that the team needs to understand what it needs to accomplish.

“We’re not going there to play one game and then sightsee,” Lewis said. “We need to make strides to get better. We’ve got the top team in Northern Nevada (Reno) that’s going to be in our gym on Jan. 3, and we need to be ready to go.”