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Tigers shoot down Senators

by Chuck Smock

Emotion, heart and teamwork turned out to be a successful formula for the Douglas High boys’ basketball team on Tuesday night.

All together, the visiting Tigers broke out of a slump as they started strong and finished the same way in a 61-54 win over the Carson Senators before a spirited crowd of nearly 2,000 fans in Morse Burley Gymnasium.

For the Tigers, who improved their Northern 4A Division II record to 1-2 (9-9 overall), it was a far cry from their crushing 78-37 defeat at the hands of South Tahoe last Friday in Minden.

“I’m so proud of these kids,” first-year Douglas coach Keith Lewis said. “They had a gut check after the South Tahoe game. They had a meeting (Monday) night and they emphasized playing as hard as they could as a team.”

Matt Thomas, who came off the bench to score eight key points for the Tigers, echoed those sentiments.

“We came out and played with emotion and heart from the start,” the 6-foot-4 senior said. “We knew if we played as a team we could win. This is the first time in a while we’ve played where our hearts were all going in the same direction.

“And this is the first time Douglas has won here in a long time. Coming into Carson and winning is big to us. This is a big motivator for us.”

Jimmy Coyne scored 15 points, John Dunbar 13 and Bruce Jacobsen 10 to lead a balanced Douglas attack. The Tigers further aided their own cause by shooting 24-for-30 from the free throw line.

“They did what they had to do to win,” said Carson coach Tom Andreasen, whose club fell to 1-1 in division, 9-7 overall. “There were two major factors – they came out in a snail’s pace and played zone – and we didn’t respond.”

The Tigers played differently than they did in a hard-fought 67-63 loss to Carson at the Nugget Rail City Tournament last month.

“I hadn’t seen them in a zone before, but it was a good move on their part because we didn’t shoot well tonight,” Andreasen said.

The Tigers led 21-11 midway through the second quarter and 35-22 after John Dunbar hit a pair of free throws with 5:18 left in the third period. But the Senators never allowed themselves to be put away.

“They never quit. Tom’s gotta be proud of his kids, they had us scared” Lewis said.

Cody Longero was out front for Carson in its comeback as the sophomore forward scored 22 of his game-high 26 points in the second half. Longero knocked down four 3-pointers, three of which came in the fourth quarter.

Longero buried a 3-pointer off a pass from Jason Mead to cut the gap to 54-49 with 1:22 left to play. Sophomore Tim McDonnell, who came off the bench to score five points and hand out one assist in the final period, hit a free throw to push the Tigers’ lead back to 55-49.

Then Mead drove the middle of the line for a layup, drawing a foul in the process. Mead hit the free throw to make it 55-52. Moments later, Mead tipped the ball away to Longero, who returned the ball down the floor to Mead for an uncontested layup that cut the Douglas lead to 55-54 with 35 seconds showing on the clock.

The momentum shifted seconds later, however, when Coyne went to the free throw line after an intentional foul call and sank both shots. Douglas retained possession of the ball and Coyne added two more free throws to put the game on ice.

Douglas 61, Carson 54

Douglas 13 15 12 21 – 61

Carson 6 12 14 22 – 54

Douglas (1-2, 9-9)

Greg Bodenstein 1 0-0 2, Tim McDonnell 3 1-2 8, Matt Thomas 3 2-2 8, John Dunbar 2 7-8 13, Adam Moore 0 3-4 3, Seth Lee 1 0-1 2, Bruce Jacobsen 2 5-6 10, Jimmy Coyne 4 6-7 15, Totals: 16 24-30 61. Three-pointers: Dunbar 2, McDonnell, Jacobsen, Coyne.

Carson (1-1, 9-7)

Biddlecome 1 1-2 3, Eddington 2 2-2 7, Mead 3 1-1 7, Klopf 2 0-0 4, Liveratti 0 1-6 1, Longero 9 4-7 26, Clark 1 0-0 3, Schreiner 1 0-0 3, Totals: 19 9-18 54. Three-pointers: Longero 4, Schreiner, Clark, Eddington.

Team fouls: Douglas 16, Carson 25. Fouled out: (Carson) Biddlecome, Klopf. Technical fouls: None.

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