Girls’ Basketball: Douglas picks up crucial win over North Valleys | RecordCourier.com

Girls’ Basketball: Douglas picks up crucial win over North Valleys

by Joey Crandall

The Douglas girls’ basketball team appears to be finding itself at just the right time.

The Lady Tigers overcame a 17-4 first-half deficit Friday night to pick up its second win in three games with a 46-34 win over Damonte Ranch in Minden.

“It’s just good to see the kids smiling,” Douglas coach Werner Christen said. “It’s so much fun to see, because they have been working so hard all year and they are really starting to get better.

“We played Hug well last week, we played a great half against Galena and we came back to get this win tonight. Things are starting to click into place for them.”

It didn’t appear so at first, as Damonte held Douglas to just one first-quarter field goal and ran up a big early lead.

“They were beating us on the rebounds,” Christen said. “We just told the girls if we can start rebounding, we’ll be able to run. And if we could run on this team, we were going to be OK.”

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That turned out to be exactly the case.

While Douglas shored up its play under the boards, sophomore forward Diana Regalado gave the Tigers a spark with a series of three unanswered baskets over the first four minutes of the seconds quarter.

“Diana had the best game of her varsity career tonight,” Christen said. “She really got us going. The rebounding as a team was huge too.”

Douglas kept up the pressure defensively and extended that into a 10-0 with a pair of shots from Tia Lyons to cut the score to 17-14.

“Offensively, we struggled in the first quarter,” Christen said. “The guards knocked down a couple shots in the second, though, and that really opened things up down low for our forwards.”

While Douglas went into the locker room for halftime trailing 21-20, the momentum was already fully in the Tigers’ favor. When they came back out for the second half, there was little they could do wrong.

Douglas opened the third quarter with a 6-0 run with a basket from Bri Burnside and a pair of baskets from Ebony Cleveland, giving the Tigers a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Douglas strung together a pair of 9-0 runs later in the second half to put the game away from good.

Christen credited the extended scoreless stretches to his team’s hard-nosed defense.

“(Assistant coach) Dave (Pfaffenberger) really mixed up the defenses well and the girls executed,” Christen said. “I think it flustered what Damonte was trying to do.”

Carly McCullough led the Tigers with 12 points, Regalado finished with 10 and Cleveland had nine.

Lyons and Alex Laing each added four and Holly Downer hit a late 3-pointer to round out a balanced scoring effort.