Tigers break skid against Wooster
The Douglas boys’ basketball team was well on its way to breaking its four-game losing streak Tuesday night when an otherwise solid win was marred by a near-brawl midway through the fourth quarter at Wooster High School.
Douglas picked up the 90-68 victory, marking its best scoring effort of the season, but lost guard Mike Gransbery for one game.
Wooster’s Leni Iosua fouled Gransbery hard at mid-court, with a little more than four minutes left in the game and Douglas leading 70-53, sending both players tumbling to the floor.
Gransbery shoved Iosua as they were getting up but Iosua pursued Gransbery from behind and hit him with a closed fist behind Gransbery’s right ear.
Gransbery dropped to the ground as players on the Wooster bench rushed the floor, but Douglas assistant Randy Green restrained the Douglas players, who had all jumped to their feet, from joining the altercation.
Contrary to reports in the Reno Gazette-Journal, the situation did not escalate into an out-of-control brawl and while many fans stood up and shouted back and forth and one Wooster parent tracked down her son to restrain him, none filtered onto the floor to join the fight.
Iosua and Gransbery were each thrown out of the game, as were two other Wooster players. Gransbery will have to miss today’s game against Carson for being thrown out due to a fight. NIAAofficials said that had a fight not ensued after Gransbery’s shove, he would not have been suspended.
Iosua was suspended for one game, as was Wooster coach Kenny Demick for commenting to the Reno Gazette-Journal that the referees had allowed the game to get out of control.
The Colts sent the Tigers to the line for an amazing 55 free throws, which ties for the third most in state history according to the NIAA record book, 23 of which came in the four minutes after the fight.
Douglas made 36 free throws total, good enough for second in state history. Wooster only took 20 shots from the line, making 12 of them.
“We just told the kids to keep their heads in the game and not get distracted by everything else,” Streeter said.
With all of the fourth-quarter fireworks, it might have been easy to miss what was otherwise a spectacular second half for the Tigers.
Douglas went into the locker room at haltime trailing 37-36, as Wooster capitalized on four 3-pointers. The Tigers had been struggling with their perimeter defense throughout their four-game skid.
“After that first half, we really just came in and said ‘Fellas, we need to get out there and guard people,'” Streeter said.
The simple call was answered by his team as Douglas came out and didn’t allow a Wooster basket through the first four minutes of the half.
Douglas ran up a neat 7-0 run in the meantime and extended that to 17-4 by capitalizing on some missed shots by the Colts and a distinct height advantage under the boards.
Douglas came out of the run with a 53-41 lead and spent the rest of the game extending that.
“We’ve been getting good team efforts and we’ve been playing hard but we’ve struggled in our perimeter defense,” Streeter said. “We were trying to concentrate on that tonight and we didn’t do a very good job of that early on.
“Our pressure in the second half was a lot stronger and that made a big difference.”
All but one player on the Tigers’ roster put points on the board in the win and four Tigers finished in double figures.
Keith Olson led the way with 21 points for the Tigers, Nate Whalin scored 16, David Laird scored 14 and Jeff Nady scored 11.
Joe Nady added eight points and Jordan Hadlock added seven.
Utah State assistant coach Tim Duryea was in the stands for the game to watch Olson play. He stayed for the duration, including the near 20-minute conference between the referees after the altercation.
Douglas improved to 8-12 overall and 3-4 in league play. The Tigers host Carson tonight at 7 p.m.
Douglas took a 69-55 victory against Wooster while enjoying one its best shooting nights of the season Tuesday.
Tyler Hoelzen scored 18 points and hit four 3-pointers, Nick Hales scored 15 points, Tanner Thomas and Tim Rudnick each scored 12 points and hit two 3-pointers and Cale Pete scored seven points and had five rebounds.
n Joey Crandall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.