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Tiger boys earn historic basketball victory

by Chuck Smock, Sports editor

The Douglas boys’ basketball team made history Saturday in a 65-45 win over host South Tahoe in the Viking Rotary Classic.

The victory was the first for the Tigers over the Vikings since 1986.

Douglas head coach Keith Lewis obviously was pleased to end the program’s 14-year losing streak against South Tahoe. He was also quick to point out that the Vikings are young, inexperienced and playing for a new coach for the first time in more than 25 years.

“For the first time in a very, very long time, our kids expected to beat Tahoe,” said Lewis, whose team jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. “That’s how we have to enter games. We stuck it to them early.

“But we have to look at the situation realistically. We have to realize that, come January, some of the factors that went our way (Saturday) could go their way.”

Derek Allister, who coached the past four years at Division I Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, was hired to replace Tom Orlich as the Vikings’ coach this summer. Orlich resigned after posting more than 500 wins in his quarter-century tenure on the South Tahoe bench.

Not being able to shake Orlich’s hand after the long-awaited beating may have diminished the thrill of the victory – but not by much.

Senior Seth Lee, a three-year varsity player at DHS, led the Tigers with 23 points and nine rebounds. Will Thomas scored 14 points and Rob Honer scored seven.

The Tigers took control of the game with a 2-2-1 full-court press that the Vikings couldn’t handle. Douglas used the trapping pressure defense to force turnovers and create easy points in transition.

“We played hard, we played with emotion and it showed in the final result,” Lewis said.

A key moment in the contest came in the third quarter with the Tigers leading by 19 points. The game was getting a little sloppy and South Tahoe was called for an intentional foul. Dominik Prosser then stepped to the line and made both free throws. The Tigers inbounded the ball to Erik Olson, who buried a three-pointer. Douglas then forced a steal, which led to an open 15-footer by Jared Kenison.

The 7-0 run in 30 seconds was the perfect response to what the Tigers thought was a cheap-shot foul, Lewis said.

“That seemed to light a fire,” the coach said. “I was very encouraged.

“A lot of kids want to talk the talk, but they can’t walk the walk. Our kids let their game do the talking. That’s what you have to do. They spoke in the best way possible.”

The win over South Tahoe followed a 62-49 victory over Franklin of Stockton, Calif., Friday afternoon.

Lee scored a season-high 28 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed out three assists against Franklin. Thomas scored 10 points, Honer had eight points, six rebounds and two steals and Olson chipped in with six points and five rebounds.

And, just like in Saturday’s game, the Tigers got things going from the opening tip on Friday. Douglas scored 17 unanswered points to start the game.

The Tiger will play host to the McQueen Lancers on Friday at 7 p.m. in the DHS gym.

McQueen enters the game with one of its best players, Karl Aaker, sidelined with a foot injury. Another star, Chris Carr, wrapped up a highly successful senior football season by leading the Lancers to the 4A state football title on Saturday.