By DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal News Service
RENO - Douglas girls' basketball coach Werner Christen expects big things from Julie Gingrich, Erin Brinkmeyer and Brittany Puzey at the offensive end of the floor, and the trio didn't let him down Thursday night.
The trio scored 16 points apiece to lead the Tigers to an easy 60-36 win over Silverado of Las Vegas in the first day of the North-South Shootout at Reno High.
Douglas, 2-0, returns to action tonight at 7 against Bonanza at Douglas.
"I was happy with our balance," Douglas coach Werner Christen said. "If we get those three kids scoring 16 points we're going to win a lot of games this year.
"We had a lot of unforced errors in the first half. A lot of them came after rebounds where our big people weren't hanging onto the ball, and our guards weren't coming to the ball. I thought our movement in the late third quarter and the fourth quarter was very good."
Gingrich scored 11 first-half points to lead Douglas to a 30-20 lead, and then turned the offense over to Puzey and Brinkmeyer. Puzey scored nine in the second half and Brinkmeyer tallied 11 in the final two quarters, accounting for 20 of Douglas' 30 points.
Leading 40-29 after three periods, Douglas quickly turned the game into a rout with a 20-3 tear in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to take a commanding 60-32 lead.
And, Brinkmeyer and Puzey were right in the middle of the action.
Brinkmeyer scored four straight points to make it 44-29, and Puzey followed with a putback and was fouled. She completed the three-point play to make it 47-29 with 6:54 left. Puzey knocked down two free throws 47 seconds later and Dana Pardee scored her only basket of the game after a Silverado turnover to complete an 11-0 run.
After Candace Smoot knocked down a three-pointer, Puzey and Brinkmeyer were at it again, adding three points apiece to finish the barrage. Colleen Carlson added a basket and free throw to complete Douglas ' scoring.
"I felt better in the second half," Brinkmeyer said. "I knew we had to step it up in the second half. I think I got more into the flow of the game."
Puzey has made a smooth transition from playing on the perimeter to playing inside.
"It's different," she said."I've had to learn a whole new thing, but I feel more comfortable. It's a lot more running. I think I can create mismatches on defense. If there is a big girl guarding me, I can bring her out from the basket by shooting outside. If it's a guard-type person guarding me, I can post her up."
Turnovers are still a concern for the Tigers, who turned the ball over 26 times against Silverado.
"I don't know that I'm too worried right now," Brinkmeyer said. "I know we've been a little sloppy. We're getting used to playing together. Once we get used to working together, things will work out."