Improved Tigers fall short
Even though their four-game win streak and season came to an end Tuesday night, the Douglas Tigers did gain a measure of consolation in a 60-50 Northern 4A Region Tournament girls basketball loss at home against Spanish Springs.
Douglas — with a lineup of three sophomore and two freshmen — showed vast improvement from the 58-26 defeat it absorbed earlier this season at Spanish Springs and created some anxious moments along the way at Randy Green Court. In the end, however, the Tigers were unable to climb out of an early hole and instead saw their season end with an 11-15 overall record.
Anhelica Shanrock scored the game’s first nine points to give Spanish Springs (18-9 overall record) a lead it never relinquished. Shanrock scored 14 of her game-high 27 points in the first quarter, including a pair of 3-pointers in the opening three minutes, to help the Cougars from Sparks charge to an early 11-0.
This marked the first playoff win for the Spanish Springs girls since Feb. 19, 2014, when the Cougars posted an opening round 43-40 win at Douglas. This was actually the first playoff game since 2014 for the Cougars, who were only 7-20 last season.
For Douglas, the Sierra League’s No. 2 seed, freshman Madi Smalley scored 21 points to go with 10 rebounds (five offensive). Freshman Taylynn Kizer also scored 12, including three 3-pointers, and Hannah Carr had 10 points.
Down 32-24 at halftime, Smalley and Carr put in two early field goals to bring the Tigers within 32-28. Later, Kizer converted a pair of fourth quarter 3-pointers and Douglas turned a 16-point deficit into nine points — 59-50 with 57.1 seconds left. The Tigers forced three turnovers during a one-minute span, the last coming when Alexa Moss and Smalley combined on a half-court trap that resulted in a backcourt violation.
Earlier, sophomore guard Kevyn Reid came off the bench and fired in a long rainbow 3-pointer, off an assist from Kizer, that brought the Tigers within 49-38 early in the fourth quarter.
Hailey Hughes provided a boost for the Tigers underneath the glass, as the 6-foot sophomore grabbed 12 rebounds, blocked six shots and impacted numerous other inside attempts.
Serena Sanchez scored nine points for Spanish Springs, including a 3-pointer that pushed the lead to 57-42 with 2:38 left. Kalli Prendergast had eight points and six rebounds, with five of those rebounds coming in the fourth quarter. Kierra Johnson grabbed 11 rebounds.
Furthermore, the Cougars benefited from 10 breakaway layups that came on either transition or press-breaker plays. Shanrock accounted for eight of those points, Sanchez six and Naelia Pinedo four.