Late surge lifts Wildcats past Tigers
Tre Jackson and Ryan Barnes combined to score 12 points and spark a fourth-quarter comeback for the Douglas High boys Friday night. On a night marked by scrappy defense and momentum swings, however, Joseph Holden scored seven unanswered points inside the final minute to help the Oakland Wildcats pull out a 54-46 win at Randy Green Court.
Douglas (2-4 overall, 1-1 league) rallied from eight points down in the fourth quarter and only trailed 47-45 going into the final minute. The Tigers were unable to get any closer against the Wildcats (2-1) of the Oakland Athletic League.
Jackson scored seven of his game-high 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a 3-pointer from the top of the key off an assist from Barnes to make it 38-33. The Tigers continued their momentum when Ian Ozolins banked in a short shot, Barnes dropped in a jumper and Jackson drove for a score to make it 42-41 with 3:35 left to play.
The momentum shifted thanks to a defensive stop after Jackson took a charge. Moments later Dalton Davis converted one of two free throws after pulling down an offensive rebound and then Barnes buried a 3-pointer from the right side as Douglas pulled back to 47-45 with 1:02 showing on the clock.
That’s when Holden seized the momentum for Oakland. The 5-foot-10 senior guard was open on the left wing when he took a pass from Natna Ogbe and sank a back-breaking 3-pointer. Holden added four free throws in the final 23.9 seconds to close out the win.
The Tigers staged their best run midway through the third quarter with eight unanswered points over a span of 1:24 to cut Oakland’s lead to 31-30. Barnes scored on a baseline jumper, drove for another field goal and grabbed a rebound on the defensive end that led to Jackson’s fast break layup. Moments later, Jackson picked off an inbounds pass from the sideline and slammed down a crowd-pleasing dunk to make it a one-point game with 4:14 left in the third quarter.
The Tigers saw their momentum fade, however, when they turned the ball over on six straight possessions bridging the third and fourth quarters. Four of those turnovers came from steals.
Barnes, a 6-2 senior, finished with 12 points and Ozolins nine for Douglas. Davis also contributed nine rebounds.
Holden scored 11 points for the Wildcats, all of which came in the second half. Devon Banks also scored 12 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 1:17 before halftime. Jeremiah Bains chipped in with 10 points, highlighted by a drive down the lane that resulted in a slam dunk, and Solomon-Pierre Bland scored nine.