Lady Tigers battle tough squads at Elite 8 in Reno | RecordCourier.com

Lady Tigers battle tough squads at Elite 8 in Reno

by Joey Crandall

So far, the Douglas girls’ basketball team’s non-conference schedule has done every bit to live up to its billing as one of the toughest in the program’s history.

The Tigers had to take on three of the top teams in the North over the weekend at the Elite 8 Classic at Reno High School, and came away having taken some serious lumps.

“We’re taking baby steps right now,” Douglas coach Werner Christen said. “We’re learning a lot about ourselves and where we need to be. It’s a tough road, but these games are all meant to prepare us for the start of league play.

“I truly believe we have a shot to be in the mix at the end of the season. We’re shooting for one of those four playoffs spots and we’ll see what happens from there.”

Douglas, which has eight underclassmen on its 13-player roster, had to face up against Spring Creek for the second time in as many weeks and the results was about the same.

The Spartans prevailed with a 49-27 win to open the tournament.

Friday night, Douglas ran into an absolute wall in Galena.

The Grizzlies powered to a 59-14 win behind 20 points from their all-everything forward Caitlin Anderson.

Douglas was unable to find the basket in the second half, literally, not hitting a single field goal against the Grizzlies’ staunch defense.

The only point Douglas did muster was a fourth-quarter free throw.

“That was just really weird,” Christen said. “It was just one of those deals where we couldn’t find the basket. We’ve done it to some other teams in the past, but to have it done to us was very humbling.

“Galena may be the best thing going in the state. They are a very solid team.”

Douglas came back and played a talented senior-laden McQueen team tough on Saturday, but the Lancers held on for a 49-39 win.

“We were just happy to see that first basket go in on Saturday,” Christen said. “It ended kind of a long drought for us.”

The Tigers outscored the Lancers 25-24 in the second half Saturday and Christen said he was pleased with the team’s improvement over the course of the game.

“We managed to turn the page on the Galena game and we played much better and looked much better against McQueen,” he said. “It was just one of those things where we have eight kids who are seeing only their fourth or fifth varsity games and unfortunately it showed all at once for us a couple times this weekend.”

Things continue to stay tough for the Tigers this week with games against Galena (Thursday, 7 p.m. at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School) and Reed (Friday, 7 p.m. at Douglas).

“I really don’t care about our results in December,” Christen said. “We knew we’d be thrown into the fire early, and the girls have been very resilient so far. They’re learning. We’re growing as a team. We’ll be where we want to be by the time league play starts up.”

Monica Knight led the Tigers this weekend with nine points against Galena and 15 against McQueen.

Kristin Wyatt had a breakout game against McQueen, hitting three 3-pointers to spark the Tigers’ offense.

n Joey Crandall can be reached at jcrandall@recordcourier.com or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.