Douglas boys basketball stops Lancers for league win
Clutch rebounding and defensive stops down the stretch were the difference for the Douglas High boys basketball team in its 53-51 victory against McQueen on Tuesday night.
Michael Johnson’s steal and layup with 2:08 remaining broke a 48-all tie and put the Tigers on top to stay en route to winning their season home opener.
Sam Broersma had a double-double for Douglas (2-0 league, 3-3 overall) with 15 points and 12 rebounds. The 6-foot-5 senior played a pivotal role in the fourth quarter when he grabbed three rebounds in addition to a steal and layup that gave Douglas a 45-42 lead.
Broersma delivered another big play after Johnson scored to put the Tigers on top, 50-48, when he forced a turnover on a traveling violation on the defensive end of the court.
“He did a good job of establishing position and standing tall,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said of Broersma’s play. “The (McQueen) kid had nowhere to go.”
Thacker felt another key came under the glass after McQueen (0-2 league, 1-3 overall) grabbed 12 offensive rebounds in the first half. The Lancers only had four after the intermission.
“They worked hard and crashed the boards, that’s when they made that little run in the second quarter,” Thacker said. “We talked about that at halftime; if you take away those rebounds, there’s no telling where we would have been.”
Douglas opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run, however, the Lancers refused to go away. They scrapped back to tie the score twice and had two opportunites to take the lead in the game’s final four minutes.
A Johnson free throw extended the Douglas lead to 51-48 with 1:39 left. McQueen had an opportunity to tie the score on a fast break moments later, only to see Zach Kellar hustle back and prevent a good shot. Kellar rebounded the missed shot, drew a foul in the process and then knocked down two free throws to make it 53-48.
“We had three good stops at the end,” Thacker said.
Patrick DeLeon gave the Lancers new life when he scored off a steal and converted his free throw to complete a three-point play that cut the Douglas lead to 53-51 with 22.5 seconds showing on the clock. Douglas turned the ball over against McQueen’s press with 1.1 seconds left, however, the Lancers missed a shot from the corner as time expired.
Johnson finished with nine points and sophomore Tre Jackson seven for Douglas. Broersma also slammed down an Alley-oop pass from Ben Nolting — after a Trey Maurer steal — to spark the home crowd as the Tigers their first lead, 5-4.
Douglas is scheduled to host Foothill (Henderson) on Friday night and then Post Falls (Idaho) on Saturday afternoon. Thacker expects both games to present difficult challenges.
“Foothill is a typical Vegas team, they’re going to be quick. And Idaho plays good basketball, so we’re going to have two tough games on our hands,” Thacker said. “We’ve already played the No. 7 team in the nation in Bishop Gorman and Capital Christian is one of the best teams in Sacramento, so we’re getting to see a big variety of opponents. And that’s what the preseason is all about.
Notes: Foothill is 1-1, including a season-opening 78-70 win against Palo Verde, sparked by a 32-point, 13-rebound performance from 6-foot-7 Torrance Littles. Foothill is coming off a 20-7 season in 2013-14 and is coached by former Nevada Wolf Pack star Kevin Soares. … The Post Falls Trojans, currently 2-0, return two starters from last season — senior guards Dalton Thompson (first-team all-league) and Max McCullough.