Douglas sweeps Carson, Douglas girls get a lift from win over Senators | RecordCourier.com
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Douglas sweeps Carson, Douglas girls get a lift from win over Senators

by Chuck Smock

A season plagued by injuries and illness turned into a wild celebration for the Douglas girls Friday night.

And all it took to put ear-to-ear grins on the faces of all the Tigers was a thrilling, last-second victory over rival Carson.

“It’s the best feeling in the world,” said junior Andrea Honer, who made three of four free throws in the final minute to help seal the 43-42 win. “It’s going to make up for the whole season.”

The Tigers trailed by one point with less than two minutes to play when Amber Gwinn made a steal and converted a layup for a 39-38 Douglas lead.

Honer’s three free throws and two layups by Carson’s Meghan Gradert in a 30-second span tied the game at 42 with 10 seconds remaining.

On the ensuing inbounds pass, Honer spotted Tarrah Kizer near midcourt sprinting toward the Carson basket. Honer hit Kizer in stride with a long pass, but the Senators were able to foul Kizer before she could get off a shot.

The Douglas sophomore, who was playing in her first game since injuring her ankle against South Tahoe on Jan. 19, made the first of two free throws to give the Tigers their margin of victory with 7.8 seconds showing on the clock.

Carson created a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but Honer was able to get a hand in the face of Tabatha Adams, forcing her layup to miss the mark and allowing the Tigers to win their final home game of the season.

“There was a lot of emotion in the last three, four minutes of that game,” Douglas coach Werner Christen said. “All the injuries we’ve had, all the sickness, all the bad bounces, (beating Carson) was something well-deserved. They’ve played hard all year. They’ve practiced hard all year. They don’t feel sorry for themselves. Something good had to happen to us. And something good happened Friday night.

“The feeling in that locker room after the game is something I will never, ever forget. They were so happy.”

The Tigers once again used a balanced scoring attack to hold off the Senators. Freshman Julie Gingrich led Douglas with 10 points. Kizer finished with eight, Lindsey Rollins scored seven points and Gwinn and Renee Boucher each scored five points.

“We’ve tried to pull together the whole season,” Rollins said. “I think we really deserved this big win in front of our home crowd. Every one of us contributed to every single point we scored. It was like the best thing that could have happened for us, seriously. We couldn’t have asked for anything better.

“Every single person wanted it. We all played with heart. The bench was fired up the whole game. You could tell how much desire we had. We just all played together and we believed in each other.”

Honer led the Tigers with 10 rebounds. She also had a half-dozen assists to go along with three points.

The win was especially sweet for Douglas seniors Lisa Doner, Tracy Kizer and Kristen Garzapena, who will always have fond memories of their last game in the DHS gym.

“It’s an awesome feeling to win my last home game and to beat our rivals,” Doner said. “It was the best win I could ever have.”

“I’m so excited,” Tracy Kizer said. “I think we deserved it because we all were playing with heart. We all pulled together at the end and we wanted it more than they did, so we got the win. (Thursday night) in practice, I knew we were ready for the game. I’ve been looking forward to this game from the beginning of the season.

“Oh my gosh, I will never forget this.”