Tigers look to build momentum
Coming off a key Sierra League win on Friday night, the Douglas High boys basketball team came into this week looking to continue its momentum — and playoff aspirations.
Douglas was 3-5 league, 5-12 overall coming into a game at Wooster on Tuesday (Douglas won, 74-56) and the Tigers return to Reno on Friday for another important test against Galena.
“We can’t have a letdown,” coach Corey Thacker said after the Tigers’ 66-54 win at home against Damonte Ranch on Friday. “We have to get both games this week and Carson on Tuesday, then we start all over again (second round of league schedule).”
Galena, the defending Sierra League champion, came into this week tied with Damonte Ranch for second-place while Douglas stands two games back. The top two finishers from the Sierra and High Desert leagues earn homecourt advantage for the first round of the Northern 4A Region Tournament next month.
Beating Damonte Ranch was a step in the right direction.
“That was huge,” Thacker said. “We still have work to do, though. We still have to take care of the ball a little bit better.”
The Tigers turned the ball over 18 times against Damonte Ranch, however, they never trailed after Kane Hoyopatubbi scored on a baseline drive and Andrew Collins took a rebound and drove the length of the court for another field goal to make it 14-11 at the end of the first quarter. Collins finished with season-highs in points (19) and rebounds (9), while Ian Ozolins added 16 points and Josh Carillo 10 points for Douglas.
“Andrew played well, offensively and defensively,” Thacker said of Collins. “Defensively, he did a good job of protecting the middle.”
On Friday, the Tigers will face a tall order against Galena’s 6-foot-8 Moses Wood, a third-year varsity veteran who averages 19.7 points per game. Steve Conatser (12.5 scoring average), Trae Thomson (8.8) and Schuyler Louie (second-team all-league in 2017) are also players to watch for the Grizzlies.
Douglas returns home next Tuesday to face arch rival Carson.