MINDEN - The game will be remembered for McQueen senior Kody Eckert driving the lane and nailing a fadeaway floater with 4.5 seconds left to deliver a 60-59 victory for his team in the first round of the Division I playoffs Tuesday night.
The difference in the game, though, came in the first quarter as the upstart Lancers hit four 3-pointers and exploded for 24 points on their way to an upset of the Sierra League champion Douglas Tigers.
It was McQueen'sfourth consecutive win, dating to when Douglas put the Lancers on the brink of elimination from the playoffs with an 18-point win in Minden three weeks ago. In the time since, the Lancers have received a boost in the form of 6-foot-7, 250-pound Rite Of Passage transfer DaeShawn Patterson, who became eligible right after his team lost to Douglas.
For Douglas, the loss snapped a 13-game win streak and ended strong hopes of claiming the program's first-ever large-school regional title.
Despite the disparity in both record and seeding, it was clear from the outset that McQueen was going to make things interesting.
The Lancers began the game playing high-pressure, man-to-man defense and quickly opened up a 5-1 lead on a 3-pointer from Kendall DeWeese and a runner from Eckert.
From there, each team threw momentum-swinging punches until McQueen's TKO.
A second DeWeese 3-pointer put the Lancers up 8-3, but Douglas answered with a 6-0 run. That was followed by a 6-0 McQueen run. Douglas answered with a 6-0 run of its own to close the gap to 17-15 with 1:54 remaining in the quarter.
That's when Patterson entered the game. McQueen closed out the quarter with a 10-2 run, highlighted by a pair of baskets from Patterson and a pair of 3-pointers from Eckert to set the score at 24-17.
McQueen extended the run to 19-7 through the first three minutes of the second quarter to go up 33-22..
"We just didn't match their intensity early on," Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. "They came out ready to go, and we just weren't as intense. When we finally started getting out and challenging those outside shots, then we started getting back into it.
"Our guys showed a lot of heart," Thacker said. "They came back; it was really how a lot of our season went. They fought back after getting down early and refused to back down."
The third quarter played out much like the first half, with McQueen starting on a 4-0 run, followed by a 7-0 run from Douglas, then an 8-0 run that put the Lancers up 49-39 with 3:07 left.
A pair of James Herrick free throws, though, helped swing momentum back in the Tigers' direction. Austin Evans followed with a breakaway layup with 57 seconds left in the quarter, then completed a 7-0 run by nailing a 3-pointer with 6.7 seconds left to cut the score to 48-46.
A 4-0 run to open the fourth bumped the Lancers's lead to 52-46, but another 7-0 run from the Tigers -- their third of the second half -- gave Douglas its third lead of the game at 53-52 with 5:27 remaining.
Evans again hit from the right corner for his third and final 3-pointer of the night to finish off the 7-0 run. He finished with 16 points, while Myers led the Tigers with 17.
"Our thing all year has been getting stops and making runs," Thacker said. "Stops fuel the runs. We were able to do that over the final three quarters. We won every quarter but one tonight, and it was the first that cost us. It just goes to show you that especially in the playoffs, you have to come ready to play."
Following Evans' 3-pointer, McQueen came right back with a basket from Eckert and built the lead to 55-53 on a free throw from Patterson.
Nolting scored on a reverse layup to tie the game at 55, and Evans hit the back end of a pair of free throws to put the Tigers up 65-55 with 1:31 remaining.
Patterson put the Lancers back out in front on a layup with 1:17 remaining, and Nolting grabbed the lead back for Douglas at 58-57 when he tipped in a Herrick miss with 56.2 seconds left.
Eckert got to the line with 29 seconds remaining, hit his first shot to tie the game at 58 and then missed the second, which Herrick was able to corral. He was fouled by Patterson on the rebound, which sent him to the line with 28 seconds. Herrick, too, hit the front end of a one-and-one for the 59-58 lead.
McQueen controlled the rebound after Herrick missed the second shot. The Lancers nearly ran the clock out before before Eckert drove inside for the game-winner.
"Eckert, compliment to him," Thacker said. "He made a great shot; it was a nice floater."
Out of the timeout, Nolting inbounded the ball and Douglas got the ball to Myers on the left side, where he was able to get off a clean shot. The ball sailed just wide, and the buzzer sounded before Douglas could manage a put-back.
"McQueen is a team that comes out and plays very hard," Thacker said. "They live by that 3-pointer. That's what got them ahead at the beginning of the game. They knocked down their shots. They hit five 3-pointers in the first half and then none the rest of the game.
"We figured it out, started getting a hand in their face. But we just didn't get it done."
McQueen got 19 points from Eckert, 12 from Bryce Harnack and 11 each from DeWees and Patterson.
Carson teams finish sixth
LAKE TAHOE - Carson High's ski teams each finished sixth at Tuesday's meet at Heavenly.
Charles Hersey was 21st in 1:20.68, Nick Greene was 24th in 1:22.48 and Justin Gross was 32nd in 1:39.55. Lucas Wright was DQd on his second run, while Daniel Rosales didn't finish.
On the girls side, Bailee Barger was 25th in 1:25.77, Alison Greene was 30th in 1:38.40, Emma Caufield was 32nd in 1:43.1 and Marlene Gaubinger was 33rd.