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Stage is set for Tiger second place in Division II

by Donnie Nelson

In all probability, the stage is set for Douglas and Reno to battle for second place in Division II and a home court advantage in the first round of the Northern Zone boys basketball playoffs.

Douglas (7-4 in league) held up its end of the bargain Friday night with an 80-54 dismantling of the Hug Hawks in Reno. The Huskies were 8-2 heading into a game Tuesday at first-place South Tahoe (10-0). If Reno lost, then Friday’s game would be for second place. Douglas beat Reno in the first round and would thus own the tie-breaker with a win Friday. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.

The playoff possibilities, however, are endless heading into the regular-season finale. If Reno beat South Tahoe on Tuesday, then the Huskies would have second place wrapped up. Douglas would maybe still have to win Friday to finish third and avoid a first-round playoff game at powerful Galena (the Division I champion).

That’s because Carson can’t be counted out of the picture. The Senators, who beat Douglas twice and own the tie-breaker there but not against Reno, have only five losses heading into their final two games with Fallon (Tuesday) nd Wooster (Friday). If the Senators win twice and the Tigers lose Friday, then Reno would finish second, Carson third and Douglas fourth. If the Senators lose one of their last two games, then Douglas would be assured of at least third place.

Got it?

It would have been easy to do, but Douglas didn’t look past the Hawks on Friday.

The Tigers came out roaring, scoring the first 13 points of the game, and never looked back in the rout.

“The bottom line is we have Reno on Friday for second place. It should be exciting,” said Douglas coach Aubrey McCreary, whose team played at McQueen in a non-league game Tuesday. “We’ve got to get refocused.”

Hug, trying to salvage some pride late in the season, played hard but fell to 0-10.

Douglas did exactly what it wanted to do right out of the gate and put the Hawks away early.

Bruce Jacobsen scored five of his team-high 12 points in the opening 4:15, and Scott Warner, John Dunbar and Tim McDonnell each hit key three-pointers as the Tigers jumped out to a 16-2 lead.

Logan Lord broke the ice for Hug – and stopped the bleeding at 13-0 – when he scored from the left side with 3:01 left in the first quarter.

Douglas made 4-of-7 attempts from behind the three-point arc in the first quarter against Hug’s 1-2-2 zone. Hug, running a weave high on the perimeter on offense, missed four shots and committed four turnovers during its slow start.

The Tigers owned the first half. They shot a respectable 17-for-32 from the field, including 9-for-11 in the second quarter, and had a 21-8 advantage on the boards. Douglas allowed the Hawks only one offensive rebound in the first half.

Seven different Tigers scored in the first quarter and four players had at least one assists, led by Adam Bill’s four.

Hug cut the lead to nine points on two occasions in the middle of the second quarter, but the Tigers never lost their composure. The teams combined to score on 10 consecutive possessions late in a fast-paced second quarter.

“If we don’t guard defensively, we can be a very, very poor basketball team,” McCreary said.

The play turned sloppy in the second half, but that was almost to be expected from two teams heading in opposite directions at this stage of the season. Douglas is coming off a rough two-week stretch where every game was important. It almost needed a game like this to relax.

“It was ugly. We’ve got to get refocused,” McCreary said. “What got us to be a great basketball team was playing great defense. Now, they all think we’re great on offense.”

The Tigers, who led 42-29 at halftime and 64-42 after three quarters, put together a 12-0 run over a 3:25 span in the four quarter for good measure.

Douglas dominated just about every facet of the game.

It controlled the boards with a 41-26 advantage, including a 17-10 edge on the offensive boards, and controlled the ball with a limited amount of turnovers through the first three quarters.

Douglas finished 30-for-56 from the field (53.4 percent), including 7-for-17 from three-point land, and 13-for-25 from the foul line. Hug finished 21-for-50 from the field, including 2-for-14 (14.3 percent) from three-point range, and only 10-for-22 from the foul line. The Hawks committed 19 turnovers.

Jacobsen and Coyne, who finished with 11 points, each had eight rebounds (four of them offensive). Nine Tigers scored at least six points.

For Hug, Lewis Braxton and Bryan Tilton each had nine points. T.J. Little added eight points and four rebounds off the bench.

Game statistics

Douglas (7-4) 20 22 22 16 – 80

Hug (0-10) 8 21 13 12 – 54

Douglas (80) – Dunbar 1-5 1-2 4, Warner 3-6 1-1 9, Coyne 4-13 3-6 11, Jacobsen 4-7 3-4 12, Bodenstein 3-5 1-2 7, McDonnell 3-3 0-0 9, Umphries 3-4 1-4 7, Thomas 3-4 2-3 7, Supko 0-0 1-2 1, Cooke 0-1 0-0 0, Bill 2-4 0-1 4, Young 1-1 0-0 2, Chichester 3-3 0-0 6. Totals 30-56 13-25 80.

Hug (54) – Tolliver 2-9 0-2 4, Lemich 2-9 0-0 4, Braxton 3-5 2-7 9, Demosthenes 1-2 2-6 4, Stevenson 0-1 0-0 0, Tilton 2-6 4-5 9, Lord 6-9 2-2 14, Davidson 0-1 0-0 0, Little 4-5 0-0 8, Hardin 1-3 0-0 2. Totals – 21-50 10-22 54.

Field goal percentage – Douglas 53.4, Fallon 42.0. Free throw percentage – Douglas 52.0, Fallon 45.5. Three-point goals – Douglas 7-17 (McDonnell 3-3, Warner 2-3, Jacobsen 1-2, Dunbar 1-4, Umphries 0-1, Bill 0-1, Coyne 0-3), Fallon 2-14 (Braxton 1-3, Tilton 1-3, Demosthenes 0-1, Lord 0-1, Davidson 0-1, Tolliver 0-2, Lemich 0-3). Rebounds – Douglas 41 (Jacobsen 9, Bodenstein and Coyne 7), Fallon 26 (Tolliver and Little 4). Assists – Douglas 13 (Bill 6), Fallon 4 (Lord 2). Steals – Douglas 13 (Jacobsen 3, Dunbar, Umphries and Thomas all with 2), Fallon 13 (Lemich 4). Turnovers – Douglas 19, Fallon 19.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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