Grizzlies, Tigers to clash in key test
Possession of third-place in the Sierra League boys basketball race, not to mention a potential shot at second-place, will be on the line Tuesday night when the Douglas Tigers play host to the Galena Grizzlies.
Douglas (7-5 league, 8-12 overall) and Galena (7-5, 13-9) are tied for the No. 3 spot — and a more favorable seeding going into the postseason — coming into the 7 p.m. contest at Randy Green Court. More important, the Tigers and Grizzlies are now one game behind second-place Bishop Manogue and home court advantage for the region tournament’s opening round on Feb. 17.
Galena, the defending region champion, has won four of five games dating back to its 59-40 victory at home against Douglas on Jan. 15. Douglas is coming off a 58-39 win Friday night at Wooster that was sparked by Michael Johnson’s 20 points. Galena tightened the race Friday with a 53-50 win over Manogue.
Both the Tigers and Grizzlies feature talented outside shooters: Johnson with a 14.3 point per game average, and for the Grizzlies, junior Dillon Voyles and senior Zach Williams average 17.6 and 16.3 respectively. The Tigers average better than five points per game.
Looking back to the Jan. 15 game at Galena was much closer than the final score showed, though, since the Tigers actually led 36-34 at the end of three quarters. Galena ran off a 25-4 advantage in the final period to pull out the win.
The rematch could be decided under the glass and at the free throw line.
In the previous meeting, the Tigers enjoyed a 17-8 advantage in offensive rebounds against a tall Galena lineup that includes Voyles, Williams and Moses Wood, who all stand 6-foot-6. Jace Hart, a 6-5 senior, pulled down 12 rebounds, eight on the offensive end, in the previous game against Galena.
In that same game, Galena shot 16-for-22 and Douglas 6-for-12 from the free throw line.
In Friday’s game at Wooster the Tigers jumped out to a 30-15 halftime lead and extended the spread to 51-27 at the end of three quarters during Wooster’s Winterfest game. Hart also had 10 points and Dalton Davis eight for the Tigers.
Looking ahead on the schedule, Douglas is back at home again on Friday to face Manogue.