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Tigers’ playoff dream is alive

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas girls won just one game in the first half of Sierra League play, but that doesn’t stop head coach Werner Christen and his players from honestly believing they have a shot at making the Region playoffs.

The Reno Huskies (5-0 heading into Friday’s matchup with the Tigers) appear to be on their way to the Sierra League championship, and Wooster (4-1) is a pretty secure No. 2. That leaves Hug (3-2), Carson (2-3) and Douglas (1-4) to battle it out for the final two playoff positions.

Next week could be pivotal for the Tigers. They play at Hug on Tuesday and then play host to Carson on Friday in their last home game of the season.

“That fourth (playoff) spot is still wide open,” Christen said. “There’s a pretty big gap between second place and third, fourth and fifth places. We’re only a game behind Carson.

“If we can get that game Tuesday against Hug, that would be huge. But we’re really going to have to play well because Hug is tough at home.”

The Tigers dropped a 45-32 decision to the Wooster Colts on Tuesday at DHS to wrap up the first round of Sierra League play.

Freshman Julie Gingrich scored nine points to lead the Tigers. Senior Lisa Doner scored seven.

Wooster’s Jane Christy led all scorers with 22 points.

The Tigers kept the game close well into the third quarter, despite the tough, low-post play of Wooster’s Brianna McGowan, who finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds. All 10 of Colts’ first-half field goals were scored from inside four feet.

Wooster built a comfortable lead with a 12-0 run through the middle of the third quarter. Maggie Lazzari and Christy each hit 3-pointers to jump-start the run as the Tigers were held scoreless for nearly five minutes.

Christen said the fact that the Tigers have been competitive with the teams they’re going to need to beat in the second half of league play should help his squad in its quest for the playoffs. He also said he knows his team will be ready to battle every time it steps on the court.

“This team has a great attitude,” Christen said. “They come to practice and they work hard every day. No one’s holding her head down. It’s so much fun coming to work with these guys. They work hard and they play hard.

“In terms of heart and effort, we’re just as good as anybody, I think.”