Tiger girls pull out overtime victory

Darrell Moody

MINDEN - Douglas High's girls' basketball team passed its first acid test of the young season with flying colors.

The Tigers fought back from an eight-point deficit to send the game into overtime, and then outscored Bonanza 14-6 in the extra period to grab a 55-47 victory Friday night.

Brittany Puzey scored seven of her 14 points in overtime, and Erin Brinkmeyer scored four of her 14 in the extra period. Julie Gingrich reached double figures again, scoring 10 points before fouling out.

"It was gut check time at the end," said Douglas coach Werner Christen, whose 3-0 team faces Centennial today at 11:30 a.m. at Galena High School. "We did some good things down the stretch. It was a great experience for our young team. If you want to call the third game of the year a big win, then it was.

"I thought Brittany Puzey did a helluva job defensively. Tammy (Gough), Jessie (Kizer) an Erin Brinkmeyer did some good things defensively. Everybody that played contributed defensively."

Bonanza scored just nine points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and some questionable strategy contributed to the slowdown offensively. Bonanza started to spread the court with a 40-35 lead against Douglas' zone defense early in the fourth quarter, and seemed to lose some of the momentum it had built up.

Two free throws by Puzey and a bucket by Brinkmeyer cut the Bonanza lead to 40-39. Mahina Gago, who burned the Tigers for 17 points including four three-pointers, hit one of two at the line to make it 41-39.

Jen Davey misfired from the perimeter, and freshman Dana Pardee scored with 2:02 left, tying the game at 41. Bonanza's Kathy Willinski missed from close range, and Pardee got the rebound but was tied up by Bonanza defenders. The possession arrow favored Bonanza, but the Bengals' Shirin Turnjman misfired, sending the game into overtime.

The overtime belonged to Douglas.

Two buckets by Puzey and two free throws by Brinkmeyer gave Douglas a 47-41 lead. Stacey Pena cut the lead to 47-44 with a three-pointer. After two more free throws by Brinkmeyer made it 49-44, Gago fired home her fourth trey of the night to make it 49-47 with 42 seconds left.

Bonanza didn't score the rest of overtime, as Puzey and Pardee hit two foul shots apiece, and Kizer added one down the stretch.

Gago scored just one point in the fourth period and overtime combined, as Brinkmeyer did a good job of shading her, and not letting her get a good look at the basket.

"We showed a lot of heart," Puzey said. "A lot of people stepped up tonight when we needed it."

Centennial girls 97, Galena 34

Centennial rolled to a 48-12 halftime lead en route to a huge win over the Grizzlies, who are 0-2 in the tournament.

Centennial pressured Galena into a rash of turnovers, and Galena hit just three field goals in the first half.

Caitlin Crofts played well in the second half, scoring 12 of her team-high 16 points in the final quarter. Crofts drove to the basket constantly, and kept getting hammered by Centennial defenders.


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