Tigers bettle Reno, lose in overtime | RecordCourier.com
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Tigers bettle Reno, lose in overtime

by Donnie Nelson

High school basketball doesn’t get much more exciting than that.

With second place for Division II and home court advantage for the first round of the playoffs on the line, Douglas and Reno battled it out for nearly 2 1/2 hours Friday. Both teams had their chances and made big plays down the stretch, but the visiting Huskies came out on top, 55-53, in triple overtime.

The loss meant Douglas, which finished 7-5 and in third place in league, had to play at Sparks, the No. 2 seed out of Division I, on Tuesday night. Also, Reno played host to Reed, South Tahoe, the No. 1 seed out of Division II, played host to Elko and Wooster played at Galena.

If the Tigers won Tuesday, then they will play in the semifinals Friday at 7 p.m. at Reed.

Friday’s game was a classic. The teams battled through four ties and eight lead changes in the first half, but a 10-2 run by the Huskies over the final 5:07 of the second quarter gave them a 24-18 lead at halftime.

Reno took the biggest lead of the game, 26-18, 47 seconds into the third quarter. The teams traded baskets in the middle of the quarter and Reno kept its eight-point lead on three occasions.

But, the Tigers didn’t give up. Greg Bodenstein made two free throws with 1:55 left in the third quarter to cut the deficit to 33-27. Ian Umphries drilled a three-pointer from the top of the arc off a pass from Adam Bill with 51 seconds left to pull the Tigers within three points.

Douglas carried that momentum right into the fourth quarter, scoring on its first three possessions and forcing four missed shots (one-and-out) to take a 36-33 lead.

The Tigers were fantastic early in the fourth. Scott Warner switched the ball from his right to left hand in midair and made a driving layup to get things going. Warner broke Reno’s full-court press after a timeout with a nifty pass downcourt to Umphries, who hit a pull-up jumper along the right baseline. Finally, Bruce Jacobsen put back an offensive rebound for a basket.

Jim Coyne eventually scored on a drive along the left baseline to give Douglas a 41-37 lead with 4:17 left in the game. However, the Tigers would not score again in regulation and the Huskies would rally to force overtime.

In the first four-minute overtime, Umphries put back an offensive rebound for a basket with 3:29 left and Jacobsen made 1-of-2 free throws with 1:52 left to give the Tigers a three-point lead. Reno’s Kizer tied the game with a three-pointer from the left wing with 1:03 left, and neither team scored again.

Douglas missed on a final-shot attempt and Reno called timeout with 2.4 seconds remaining. The Huskies’ inbound pass from under their own basket was intercepted by Coyne. The Douglas junior pulled up under control and got a good look at the basket from the top of the three-point arc, but the buzzer-beating shot bounced off the back of the rim.

Reno just about had the game after Gamboa made two free throws with 10.1 seconds left for a 51-48 lead. However, John Dunbar made two free throws with 8.4 seconds left and, after Gamboa missed twice with 5.3 seconds left, made the back end of a two-shot opportunity with 1.4 seconds left to force a third overtime.

In the final period, Hanson scored for Reno with 2:03 left and Dunbar scored with 34 seconds left to knot the game at 53-all. Woods got an offensive rebound for Reno and, after being fouled, made both of what would prove to be the free throws with 2.7 seconds left.

Dunbar’s heave from midcourt at the buzzer was straight on but fell just inches short.

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

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