Second half offense ignites Douglas to win over rival Carson
Tigers score 26 points in final quarter to secure a 'W'
MINDEN – It probably would have come as a surprise to some to hear Douglas and Carson High combined to score 52 points in the fourth quarter Tuesday night.
After each team scored 26 points per side in the final eight minutes, it was the Tigers who were celebrating on their home floor when all was said and done, picking up a 71-67 win over their rivals to the north.
A blistering two-minute stretch in the fourth quarter Tuesday night saw the Sierra League counterparts knocked down six 3-pointers, leaving the Tigers with a 59-52 edge.
After Carson burned a timeout with 4:01 remaining, Douglas held a 60-52 lead, but the Senators still had plenty of fight in them.
Douglas kept the lead at eight points until Joey Summers banked in a mid-range jumper to make it 65-59 and spurring a Tiger timeout with 2:15 to go.
Chris Smalley, who assisted a Chris Thacker 3-pointer a few possessions earlier, found himself underneath the hoop out of the Tiger stoppage for an easy layup.
After scoring five points in the first half, Smalley added 12 more to his total in the second to end the rivalry matchup with 17 points.
Carson guard Parsa Hadjighasemi – who ended his night with 22 points – hit one of his six 3-pointers after the Smalley bucket.
Hadjighasemi’s triple cut the gap to 67-62 Douglas before a trip to the free throw line for the Senator sophomore with 1:01 left to play.
Both free throws fell for Hadjighasemi, but Douglas’ Dakota Jones drove baseline and got the two points right back for the Tigers.
Smalley and company ran off a large chunk of the remaining seconds before Thacker was sent to the free throw line.
Hadjighasemi drained another 3-pointer in the waning moments, but the Smalley caught the following inbounds pass and chucked it into the air as time expired.
“I don’t know if it was more physical, but it was way more intense,” said Smalley of the rivalry game. “They have a lot of shooters.”
Chris Thacker wrapped up his night with a team-high 20 points, 14 of which came in the second half.
His teammate, Cameron Swain, scored 10 points in the first half on his way to a 15-point outing while Jones capped his night with 10 points.
“As long as we can get the ball in the key somehow, and then shoot it, it’s helping everyone out,” said Douglas head coach Corey Thacker. “It opens up so many more things.”
“They didn’t really have a big guy in the block, so my teammates just kept passing me the ball and they helped me get the points,” said Smalley.
Senators’ scorching start
It was once again a fiery start that served as the catalyst for Carson after getting off the bus.
As they’ve done before, the Senators played with an electric pace in the opening eight minutes, missing shots on rare occasions and taking advantage of what the defense was giving them.
By the end of the opening quarter, Carson had built a 20-12 lead.
However, Douglas managed to keep the Senators lead in single digits before trimming the gap and eventually taking the lead in the third quarter.
In the opening half, Nathan Smothers put on a show in front of the road crowd – and a packed visitor sideline.
Continuous drives into the paint and scraps for possession of rebounds allowed the Senator senior captain to score 10 points in the first half.
Summers and Hadjighasemi kept pace with their senior leader as well, but Carson’s lead evaporated as the Senators could only score four points over the final 5:09 of the third quarter.
“Their defensive intensity picked up,” said Glover. “I don’t think we brought the same intensity we brought in the first half. … This is a big learning game.”
UP NEXT: Douglas (6-12, 2-3) now sits in a three-way tie for third in the Sierra League with Carson and Damonte Ranch. The Tigers will open the second half of the league slate Friday against Wooster (5-14, 0-5).
Carson (9-11, 2-3) will also be looking to establish an edge in league play, starting Friday at home against Galena (14-4, 4-1).