Douglas gets revenge
If you want to know how Douglas High’s girls basketball team has won five games this year, look no further than center Emily Haas.
Haas, the Tigers’ talented 5-foot-11 center, scored 15 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to lead the Tigers to a 49-39 win over visiting Galena Tuesday night.
On Wednesday, Haas was her usual dominating self, scoring 13 points and pulling down 12 rebounds in a 63-31 win over host Dayton.
The Tigers’ victory on Tuesday avenged a 19-point setback to the Grizzlies last Saturday at the Elite 8 tourney in Reno.
“We made a couple of adjustments, and we always play better at home,” said Douglas coach Werner Christen, whose team improved to 4-2. “We worked on a two-guard front offensively, and we played four outside to give Emily (Haas) more room to work. I thought she did a good job on the block.
“Emily did a lot of good things. She’s a big reason why we’ve won four games already. She’s done a great job on the boards. She’s had a couple of 20-rebound games. She’s been between 16 and 20 rebounds most of the time.”
Haas’ effort was impressive when you consider she picked up her third foul midway through the second quarter and spent a few minutes on the bench. Her strength on the boards led Douglas to a whopping 47-24 edge in that category.
Joanna Hixon, Galena’s talented front-line player, did an admirable job of denying Hess the ball on the block in the early going. Hess started to move around a lot more, and as a result, scored four of her five baskets on teammates’ misses. Galena also played some zone defense, which made it easier for Haas to grab rebounds.
“You have to spend 32 minutes on her,” said Galena coach Karen Friel, whose team dropped to 5-2. “She gets a lot of her points on putbacks.”
“That’s what I do best,” Hess said. “Joanna played me tough; made me work a lot harder. Teams always try to deny me, and Joanna does a better job than others.”
Friel noticed a big difference in the Tigers compared to their first meeting in Reno.
“Coming here is always tough,” Friel said. “Douglas played a lot better than it did Saturday. I think they picked up their game a lot.”
That may be the case, but the Tigers definitely didn’t earn any style points. Christen’s club turned the ball over a whopping 35 times, including 11 in the first quarter which led to an 8-5 deficit.
“It was a sloppy game,” Christen said. “That’s how we played early last year, too.”
The Tigers only turned the ball over four times in the second quarter, leading to a 14-2 surge in the first six-plus minutes and a 24-11 lead at the half. Brittany Puzey led the outburst with seven points, while Tammy Gough added a nice three-point play on a driving layup and free throw.
“Her energy level was very good, and she was able to channel it properly during the game” Christen said of Puzey, a sophomore transfer from Carson. “She’s been trying too hard. She’s a very gifted and talented athlete.”
Stacey Raito scored Galena’s only basket of the quarter, that coming with 1:47 left. The Grizzlies, thanks to 11 turnovers, made just 1 of 9 field-goal attempts.
A three-pointer by Puzey to open the second half stretched the lead to 27-11, but Galena bounced back with 15 straight points to slice the deficit to 27-25 with 3:23 left.
Mandy Dockman began the binge with a three-pointer from the top of the key with 7:04 left. Caitlin Anderson took charge, scoring seven of her team-high 15 in the next four minutes.
Douglas regained control with a 9-2 run in the final 3:08 to take a 36-27 lead after three periods. Five of those points came at the foul line, as Jamie Aitkenhead knocked down two free tosses and Hess three.
Douglas went to the offensive glass early and often in the fourth quarter. Two follow shots by Hess and a putback by Michelle Paterson keyed a 9-4 run to give the Tigers a 45-31 lead with 4:45 left in the game.
Hixon, who was quiet offensively through the first three quarters, scored eight of her 12 points in the last quarter.
Against Dayton, Brittany Puzey scored 12 points and Erin Brinkmeyer added nine.
“They (Dayton) played hard and with a lot of emotion for a while,” Christen said. “We just had too much talent, and ended up winning easily.”
Darrell Moody is the Record-Courier sports editor. He can be reached at (775) 782-5121.