Douglas comeback falls short against Sundevils
After playing catch-up most of the way on Friday night, the Douglas High boys basketball team had persevered and seemed to have momentum going its way at the outset of the fourth quarter against Eldorado.
That momentum took an abrupt turn, however, as the visiting Sundevils from Las Vegas scored 18 unanswered points over a span of three-and-a-half minutes on their way to an 86-60 non-league victory at Randy Green Court.
Douglas rallied from a 13-point deficit in the third quarter and pulled to within 58-55 in the opening minute of the fourth before the Jordan Carter-led Sundevils sprinted away.
Carter, a 6-foot senior guard, scored 12 of his game-high 24 points in the final 6:54 to spark an Eldorado (3-2 overall record) team that has staged a comeback of its own after winning only three games during its 2016-17 season.
Carter finished with four 3-pointers overall, plus he shot 10-for-11 from the free throw line. Jonathan Thomas added 20 points for the Sundevils, who connected on nine 3-pointers and shot 27-for-38 from the line as a team.
For Douglas, the final score overshadowed a double-double performance by Ian Ozolins, who had 15 points and 12 rebounds (six on the offensive end). The 6-foot-4 senior forward had nine points and three offensive rebounds in the third quarter to help the Tigers rally from a 53-40 deficit and get back to within 58-53.
There were other key plays for Douglas during its third quarter run. Jason Gray took the ball inside for one score, then Chase Jackson drew a foul on his drive to the basket and completed the three-point play to cut Eldorado’s lead to single digits, 53-45. Hunter Morris scored off an assist from Austin Clutts, then Morris followed with a second-chance basket to make it 53-49. Ozolins also produced a big defensive play when he took a charge to deny Eldorado’s 2-on-1 opportunity with 1.3 seconds showing on the clock.
The Tigers inched even closer when Jason Gray grabbed a rebound on the defensive end and Justin Lopez scored from inside the key to make it 58-55 with 7:08 to go.
Douglas, however, only managed to score on five free throws the rest of the way.
Carter ignited Eldorado’s surge when he scored on an off-balance inside shot in traffic. Jalen Malone scored on a drive, assisted by Patrick Parkes Jr., then Carter took a pass from Kemo Bell and drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key to extend Eldorado’s lead to 65-55.
Morris, a 6-8 junior post player, finished with 14 points and Gray added 12. Gray, Ozolins and Andrew Collins also combined to give the Tigers an 8-0 lead to start the game.
After a timeout, Eldorado answered with seven points in a span of 32 seconds and went on to take a 24-14 lead at the end of the first quarter.