Girls basketball ends first round | RecordCourier.com

Girls basketball ends first round

by Donnie Nelson

The Douglas High girls basketball team appeared to be in a bit of trouble after it lost big at Reno on Jan. 23. With that loss, the Tigers ended the first round of league 2-4 and in fifth place.

Thankfully, they have turned things around since then. And, suddenly, the Tigers find themselves in the playoffs and battling for third place in Division II of the Class 4A Northern Zone.

The top four teams qualify for the playoffs, but no team wants to finish fourth. That’s because the fourth-place finisher will probably have to play at powerful McQueen in the first round.

Oddly enough, the Tigers played at McQueen (8-0 in Division I) in a non-league game Tuesday. No matter what happened Tuesday, the Tigers’ focus is clearly on Friday’s rematch with Reno (9-1 in Division II heading into Tuesday’s game).

Douglas, now 6-5 in league and winners of three straight, can clinch third place with a win Friday or a with a Wooster loss at Hug on Tuesday or a Wooster loss at Carson (9-1) on Friday. The loser of Tuesday’s Wooster (5-5)-Hug (5-6) game will be virtually eliminated from the playoffs.

Douglas owns the tie-breaker against Wooster and Hug. The only way Douglas could finish fourth is if Wooster won both of its last two games and Douglas lost to Reno on Friday. It appears Douglas will be the No. 3 seed out of Division II.

Douglas, if it does hold on to third place, will probably have to travel to Elko for a first-round game. However, the Indians (8-1) are not totally out of contention for the Division I title just yet.

Douglas coach Randy Green realizes the playoff possibilities are many heading into Friday’s regular-season finale, but he is insistent the team focuses on the game at hand. The Tigers are starting to round into playoff form, and the coach wants to keep the momentum going.

What’s been the difference between a 2-4 first round and a 4-1 second round?

“Basically, just overcoming our doubts about ourselves as a team,” Green said. “Coming out of December, we had a tough loss to Wooster (in the league opener Jan. 6) and then we played Carson tough but lost (in the third league game Jan. 13).”

Green said the team lost confidence after the early losses at home.

However, the Tigers are full of confidence now. They blew out Hug on the road in a key game Saturday, assuring themselves a spot in the playoffs. If the Tigers had lost that game, then they would have been in a must-win situation Friday. Instead, they enter Friday’s game relaxed and more confident than ever before.

“We had some players step up and play the way they could,” Green said about Saturday’s big win. “Once we got our wake-up call and started feeling good about what we were doing…

“I feel really good about the last few games. We’ve been making some free throws and playing the way we need to and can. It seems like they are (ready) now,” Green added.

Friday’s game is scheduled to start at 5:15 p.m.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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