Douglas girls win opener
The Douglas High School girls basketball team passed its first test of the season Tuesday night. Now, the Tigers are ready to move on toward the rest of their season.
“This was just a pop quiz to see where we are,” coach Werner Christen said after the Tigers rallied for a a 72-68 season-opening victory at home against Reed. “I think we passed it, but we’re a long way from where we want to be. We’re just going to take it one game at a time and when that game is over, we’ll tee it up and go after it again.”
Douglas returns to action Tuesday with a non-conference game against McQueen in Reno. The Tigers will face a formidable challenge next weekend in the third annual NevadaPrep.com Elite 8 Shootout girls tournament at Reno High, where they open on Thursday against Forest Lake Christian.
In a game of streaks, the Tigers came from behind to defeat Reed down the stretch as they scored the final five points, including a go-ahead jumper by Brittany Puzey with 1:12 left to play.
“We told the kids before the game it was going to be a game of runs,” Christen said. “We had some first game jitters and when they made a run on us there in the fourth quarter, we didn’t respond. But we responded late when it mattered.”
Sophomore guard Erin Brinkmeyer scored 19 points to lead a balanced offense in which four Douglas players reached double figures. Julie Gingrich also scored 15, Emily Haas 13 and Puzey 10.
All four contributed big plays at various times during the back-and-forth contest.
Brinkmeyer had nine points and one assist during the third quarter, when Douglas stretched its 30-27 halftime lead to as many as 15 points. Gingrich had 10 steals on the night, many in her role up front in the Tigers’ full-court diamond press — she had three steals that led directly to layups by Brinkmeyer, two of those coming in the third quarter.
“We have a press where we just like to get out there and fire out,” said Gingrich, a 5-11 forward. “That’s all our press is about, just firing out.”
Haas, who had 10 rebounds, dominated underneath the glass during their 11-2 run in the opening 2 minutes, 14 seconds of the third period. Gingrich rolled off an outside screen set by Haas and buried a 3-pointer from the right side. After Gingrich took a charge on the defensive end, Haas converted an offensive rebound into two free throws as the Tigers went up 40-29. Brinkmeyer’s layup off an assist from Gingrich extended the lead to 44-29.
“We were a lot more energized,” Brinkmeyer said. “We tried to come out and play hard. They have a lot of good shooters, so we were just trying to play contain defense.”
Reed was far from done, though.
“I never feel comfortable until the game’s over, but Reed is very athletic and I knew they were very capable of coming back on us,” Christen said.
Sophomore guard Maria Moore drove for a layup to trigger a 10-0 run that brought the Raiders to the brink of victory. Brittany Moore knocked down a 3-pointer from the left side then turned a steal into a layup to cut the Douglas lead to 64-62.
It was back and forth the rest of the way
Maria Moore stole the ball and drove for a left-handed layup that gave the Raiders a 65-64 lead with 1:45 to go. Puzey hit a 3-pointer from the right side and Douglas went back on top 67-65. Brittany Moore answered with a 3 on the other end as Reed regained the lead. Then Puzey’s jumper from the right side of the key put Douglas on top again, this time for good.
The Tigers gained some breathing room when Brinkmeyer took a sideline inbounds pass from Tammy Gough and drove for a layup with 24.7 seconds remaining and Puzey iced the victory when she sank the second of two free throws to make it 72-68.
Maria Moore led Reed with 18 points, while Erin Jackson added 14 and Brittany Moore 10.
“We could see them again before the season is finished,” Christen said. “Richard (Shaw, Reed coach) is going to do a good job with them. They’re going to be heard from.”
Amanda Runningwolf scored six points to lead the Douglas J.V. team in its season-opening 31-23 loss against Reed Tuesday.