By DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal News Service
MINDEN - Simply put, it was the best half of basketball that Douglas High has played all season.
The Tigers connected on 64.5 of their first-half efforts from the floor and played a solid defensive game en route to an easy 74-47 Sierra League win over South Tahoe Tuesday night.
The win boosted Douglas' record to 6-2 in league entering pivotal road games at Hug on Friday and league-leading Reno on Saturday. South Tahoe fell to 1-8.
"This was one of our better halves," DHS coach Keith Lewis said. "As poorly as we shot in the North Valleys game, we shot equally as well tonight. That's as well as we've shot in a half. They came out in a zone, and it was just a matter of knocking the shots down."
Indeed. Eric Emm, starting in place of the slumping Andy McIntosh, jump-started the offense by hitting two quick baskets. The Tigers ended the first quarter with a 25-10 lead courtesy of a 13-2 run in the final 3:30 of the period. Anthony Walter, who finished with 14 points, had six in the quarter.
Keith Olson, the Tigers' talented 6-9 center, led a 14-2 surge to start the second period. He started the surge with a layup, and following a free throw by Walter, tipped in a missed shot over two Tahoe players to make it 30-10.
After Walter and Casey Curcie traded baskets, Olson hit a short bank shot, Nick Summers knocked down a three-pointer and Olson scored again for a 39-12 margin. Tahoe scored again, but a field goal by Olson and four straight points by Chris Honer made it 45-14. South Tahoe scored three free throws in the final 2:15 of the half.
It would be easy to forget about the defense, but that would be a huge mistake. The first half was probably Douglas' best defensive effort of the season.
"We got a lot of turnovers; hands in the passing lanes," Lewis said. "We did a good job defensively against (Dan) Tobin, (Casey) Curcie and (Jared) Wood." Tobin managed only five points, Curcie seven and Wood 10. In the last meeting all three scored 10 or more points.
Douglas built the lead to 60-29 with 1:45 left in the third period thanks to a 15-10 run. Emm had five points in that span, while McIntosh added a basket and free throw.
DOUGLAS 51, SOUTH TAHOE GIRLS 38
The Tigers, thanks to 11 points by Julie Gingrich and nine each from Brittany Puzey and Erin Brinkmeyer, improved to 7-1 with an easy win over South Tahoe.
The game wasn't as close as the score indicated. The Tigers, who led by 21 at the half, were ahead 51-25 with 5:06 left. Douglas coach Werner Christen went to his bench, and South Tahoe ran off the game's final 13 points.
"This is one time I'm at a loss for words," Christen said. "They (South Tahoe) played hard and outhustled us in the second half. They are headed in the right direction.
"We did some things well, but we have to play well for longer stretches to get where we want to get (state tournament). I don't think we were aggressive enough in our 1-3-1 zone. We didn't do a good job of getting into the passing lanes."
It's possible the Tigers could have been looking ahead to Saturday's showdown with league-leading Reno, but that shouldn't have been the case.
"We prepared for everyone," Christen said. "It still comes down to execution. The first half I thought we executed OK. I think the second half we got caught up in their style."
A 9-2 run in the first four minutes of the second quarter and a 10-1 run in the final 2:44 enabled the Tigers to go into the locker room up 32-11 at halftime. Gingrich had seven of her 11 in the first surge, and freshman Dana Pardee had a basket and free throw to lead the second rally.
The lead climbed to 40-17 with 3:30 left in the third period after an 8-0 Douglas run. Collen Carlson, Gingrich, Brinkmeyer and Andrea Bryant all contributed a basket apiece in that span. Gingrich also contributed eight rebounds.