Tigers hold off Senators
Werner Christen couldn’t help but let out a sigh of relief Tuesday night after watching his Douglas High girls basketball team escape with a 41-35 victory against Carson.
“Anytime you get out of there with a win, you’ve done well,” Christen said. “This is the toughest place in the league to play. My hat’s off to Carson; they played a heckuva game tonight.”
The Tigers (14-6 overall, 7-2 Sierra League), nevertheless, had enough to lead start to finish off a win at Morse Burley Gymnasium that enabled them to protect their hold on second place in the league standings.
Carson coach Nate Tolbert felt it was one heckuva game, period.
“It was just a great game,” Tolbert said. “I was proud to be part of that one.”
Carson (9-9 overall, 5-4 league) was without the services of starters Savannah Smith and Gina Peacock. Douglas was without Kelly Sonnemann, Mandy Weaver and Abby Ryan due to minor injuries.
Douglas took an early 10-0 lead and extended the margin to 19-10 at halftime. The Tigers continued their momentum at the outset of the third quarter when Corryn Millett scored on a layup, assisted by Kassidy Freitas. Millett then buried a 3-pointer from the right corner, assisted by McKenna Kynett, to make it 24-10.
“We started out a little flat, a little timid,” Tolbert said. “Douglas came out with a chip on their shoulder. They came ready to play and we came ready to see what was going on.”
Even then, Christen wasn’t ready to sit easy on the bench.
“I thought our start was good, but then they dictated the tempo,” he said. “They forced us into a lot of turnovers, unforced turnovers, and that was all them.”
And the Senators did respond in the third. Madison Preston hit a 3-pointer from the right side, assisted by Natali Salas, Carly Bachmann added a fast break layup followed by a 3-pointer, and Salas drove for a left-hand layup to cut the gap to 27-21 with 3:37 left in the third quarter. Salas later hit a 3-pointer as the Senators pulled to within 29-28.
“Salas played a tremendous game,” Christen said. “She did a great job of penetrating and finishing, and just making plays.”
Millett scored on a layup and Maddy Lowe hit a jumper as the Tigers pushed their lead to 33-28.
The Senators came back once again. Bachmann buried a 3-pointer. Madison Preston added a free throw to make it 33-32 with 4:35 to go, however, the Senators never were able to pull even or take the lead.
In the end, the Tigers put the game away as Lowe and Kynett combined to sink four of six free throws in the final minute. For the game, the Tigers shot 8-for-18 from the line as a team.
Lowe finished with 10 points to lead a balanced Douglas offense, while Leonna Mortimer added 9, Kynett 8 and Millett 7. Mortimer also grabbed 16 rebounds to go with 2 blocked shots and 2 assists.
“Mortimer did a great job defensively and on the boards,” Christen said of the 5-foot-8 senior.
Preston led all scorers with 12 points, including three 3-pointers (the Senators had six as a team). Bachmann and Salas also scored 9 each.