Nationally-ranked Arlington Country Day tops Douglas
If you’re going to have to suffer your first loss of the season at some point, it might as well be against the No. 15 team in the country.
The Douglas boys’ basketball team hung with the Arlington County Day Apaches out of Jacksonville, Fla., for the first four minutes or so Wednesday night at Galena High School, but then the Florida school showed why it is ranked as highly as it is.
The Apaches walked away with an 86-66 win and led by as many 40 points at one point, using a stifling full-court press to frustrate Douglas (6-1) in the showcase night at the George Maldonado Classic.
“We turned the ball over something like 40 times,” Douglas coach Rob Streeter said. “They were extremely quick and athletic.
“One of the positives of playing a team of this caliber is that they can expose your weaknesses. Most of our turnovers came against that press, so that is something obviously we will need to work on.”
Things won’t get much easier for the Tigers tonight as they are scheduled to take on Artesia, Calif., ranked No. 2 in the country earlier this season.
“We’ll look to clean up some of the stuff we saw tonight and play better tomorrow night,” Streeter said. “It’ll be another great test for us.”
Douglas came out of the gates firing as Mike Gransbery put a nice move on his defender and hit a 3-pointer to open the game.
The Apaches came right back down with a 3-pointer from Charlie Gabriel, but Douglas hung with Arlington Country Day for the next several possessions.
James McLaughlin hit back-to-back layups to put Douglas up 9-8 before the Apaches came out with their press on defense.
“We were matching them punch-for-punch for a while there, but then we got a little punch drunk on their press,” Streeter said. “We started playing to their tempo, and that’s when it got out of our hands.”
Arlington shut Douglas out for the next three minutes of play and rattled off a 15-2 run to close out the quarter.
Douglas did match Arlington Country Day quite well when it could set up on defense, holding the Apaches to their lowest point total in four games so far this season.
“They were averaging 100 points a game coming into tonight,” Streeter said. “They went 104, 107 and 97 in their first three games, so they are definitely one of the better offensive teams we’ll see this year.”
Douglas also held standout post player AJ Stewart, who has already signed with Kentucky, to six points.
Douglas clawed back into the game late with 29 fourth-quarter points, despite the fact that Arlington Country Day kept four of its starters in until four minutes remained.
Keith Olson had a solid game all night, leading all scorers with 23 points. Gransbery finished with 19 points, 13 of which came in the fourth. He also hit four 3-pointers on the night.
“Mike had a great fourth quarter, he’s the only one who’s consistently been hitting those three’s for us,” Streeter said. “Keith looked great. He was on all night.”
Douglas also had strong defensive games from Nate Whalin, Joe Nady, Jeff Nady and Gransbery.