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Douglas girls ready to battle Senators in final home game

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas girls’ basketball program will honor three seniors Friday at the final home game of the season.

The Tigers will also try to help Tracy Kizer, Kristen Garzapena and Lisa Doner finish their careers in the Douglas gym with a victory over the rival Carson Senators.

“Senior Night is always a nice night, but it’s bittersweet,” Douglas coach Werner Christen said. “This is definitely their last home game because we’re not in a position where we’re going to be able to host (a first-round playoff game).

“If we win Tuesday at Hug and find a way to win Friday, I think we might sneak in there for the fourth (playoff) spot. Regardless, playing Carson in their last game at home is going to be a nice atmosphere. If we can win it, that would be a nice way for them to end their home careers. But that’s easier said than done. Carson’s very good.”

Kizer and Garzapena have given the Tigers quality minutes at the guard positions all season.

Kizer is a tenacious defender with shooting range that makes teams defend her beyond the 3-point line. She also does a good job handling the basketball.

“Tracy was a good leader on the team this year,” Christen said. “She really took to being a captain. She worked hard and set a good example for us in practice all year.

“She made a big step up from last year. She was a totally different player, especially on the defensive end of the floor.”

Garzapena has had several big games scoring points from the perimeter.

“She was one of the ones who was here all summer,” Christen said. “She knew what she had to do to contribute more this year and be a bigger part of the team, and she did that. She worked real hard this summer.”

Doner is wrapping up her first season in the Douglas program, but she didn’t waste any time making an impact with the Tigers. The transfer from Southern California has been among the Tigers’ leaders in points and rebounds all season.

“To get a transfer is nice, but to get one like her, who is, first of all, a wonderful kid and such a hard worker, is special,” Christen said. “I don’t know what we would have done without her this year. After Emily (Haas) went down, she really picked up the slack rebounding and she’s had some big scoring games for us, too.”

The Tigers entered Tuesday’s game with Hug coming off a 61-34 loss to league-leading Reno on Friday. Amber Gwinn and Julie Gingrich each scored eight points for Douglas and Doner finished with six points.

Douglas (1-5 in league, 8-15 overall) kept the game close in the first half, but the Huskies (6-0, 16-3) turned up the defensive pressure in the third quarter and used a 22-10 run to seal the victory.

“Our effort in the first half was maybe as good as we’ve had any game this year,” Christen said. “We were real, real proud of them. For the most part, the effort was there in the second half, but Reno is so talented they got a run on us and we couldn’t recover.”