Strong fourth quarter carries Douglas boys basketball past Wooster | RecordCourier.com

Strong fourth quarter carries Douglas boys basketball past Wooster

After Wooster cut it to two possessions in the fourth quarter, the Tigers regained their mojo

By Carter Eckl ceckl@recordcourier.com

Douglas High boys basketball let things get interesting late against Wooster Tuesday night, but staved off the Colts en route to a 70-51 win.

The Tigers looked squarely in control of the contest late in the third quarter, leading 55-34 after Abner Lowe banked in a triple from the top of the arc.

The bucket came after a Wooster timeout and looked to be the dagger late in the third quarter.

However, Wooster scored 10 unanswered points in the final 1:47 to cut the gap to 11 by the end of the third period – 55-44.

Two quick baskets from Wooster to open the fourth quarter, including a triple from Sean Ratfield on the wing tightened the gap to six, 55-49.

Douglas head coach Corey Thacker burned a timeout with 7:25 remaining in regulation and the Tigers took note of whatever the coach said in the huddle.

Douglas held Wooster to just two points after that, ending the Sierra League scrap on a 15-2 run.

“When they started getting scrappy we had to pick up the energy and start going back at them,” said Douglas junior Matthew Goff. “From there on, we just need to learn to keep our energy from the start.”

Goff, by his teammates’ definition, is the energy guy for the Tigers and it showed when he was on the floor Tuesday.

After scoring seven points in the opening half, Goff was held without a basket for a chunk of the second half.

With the Tigers up 11, Dakota Jones swatted a layup off the backboard, which ended up in the hands of Chris Thacker.

Thacker took the ball up the far sideline and into the lane before distributing the ball around a defender’s hip to Goff, who deposited an easy layup to put the Tigers up 13, 64-51, with four minutes to play.

“Matthew is definitely an energy guy,” said Chris Thacker. “He’s going to put the ball in the bucket when we need it and he definitely does a great job at that.”

Along with his nine points, Goff went diving after several loose balls, several of which earned possession for Douglas.

It was Thacker who had the biggest night on the score sheet for the Tigers, draining seven 3-pointers on his way to a game-high 27 points.

“If it’s falling, it’s falling. My teammates are going to find me,” said Thacker postgame.

Cameron Swain and Christopher Smalley both added nine points for the Tigers as well in the win.

Goff and Thacker felt that it was the Tigers’ ability to impose their pace that switched things back in favor of the orange and black.

“Just dictating the pace. They definitely started to take over the pace when they cut that lead down,” said Thacker. “We finally decided to take the ball and run at our own pace.”

Another thing both Tigers agreed on – Douglas will need to cut down the turnovers moving forward in league play.

“Definitely need to work on it. I think we had 29 turnovers, so definitely something we need to work on,” Goff said.

UP NEXT: Douglas (5-9, 1-0) will put its newly minted perfect league record on the line Friday at home against Galena (11-3, 1-0).