RENO- This one didn't end up being that close either.
Defending Northern 4A Co-Player of the Year Armon Johnson put up 34 points Saturday night, but the Hug Hawks simply didn't have an answer for the Douglas boys' basketball team's deep roster as the Tigers pushed ahead for an upset 93-72 win in Reno.
Douglas had six players in double figures scoring with more than four minutes left in the game and the Hawks, currently ranked No. 2 in the Sierra Nevada Sports Media Poll, was left looking like they didn't even know what hit them as the Tigers moved to 14-6 overall and 5-1 in Sierra League play.
"I thought it would go down to the wire, but I couldn't even take a breath until the final buzzer, because these guys can do that to you," Douglas coach Rob Streeter said. "The kids played very hard and just battled out there. It was a tough week and I am extremely proud of them."
Douglas was coming off big wins over league rivals Carson and South Tahoe earlier in the week, so the potential for an emotional letdown was there. The Tigers, however, left little time answering that question as they ran off a 12-2 lead to open the game and never looked back. Hug never led, or even tied, the game.
"I think it was our start that did it for us," Douglas center Keith Olson, who finished with 16 points, said. "We came out hard. We came out well in the second half also and got some pressure on them and put together another good run."
Streeter said he was a little nervous at how his team would show up for the Hawks.
"We were worried there might be a letdown," Streeter said. "At our shoot-around this morning we had a great visit. The kids looked focused and they knew what this game meant.
"They knew what was at stake and they reassured me that they would be fine."
And they were.
Douglas had runs of 15-3 late in the third quarter and 8-0 to close out the game while Hug's Johnson was never really able to find his way into the game until it was already almost too late.
Douglas' Nate Whalin, who has handled many of the Tigers' tougher defensive assignments, drew the Johnson assignment Saturday night and did an admirable job on him in the first half, holding him to just 10 points and no 3-pointers while Douglas carried a 40-31 lead into the locker room.
"I had a good scout on him from film," Whalin said. "I was trying to keep him on the right because he is left-handed.
"He's always going to try to go back to his left hand, so that was my goal. He played hard, and he's gotten a lot better since last year."
Johnson recovered in the second half to hit three 3-pointers and score 24 more points, but Douglas was simply too overwhelming as a team offensively.
Aside from Olson's 16 points, Jeff Nady had 18, Mike Gransbery had 16, Kevin Emm had 14, Joe Nady had 12 and David Laird had 11.
"We're just a team now," Whalin said. "Team offense, team defense, move the ball. That was the key tonight. We knew, because of their pressure, they'd come up to get us and we knew we had to share the ball.
"We were able to finish and that was a big part of why we won."
James McLaughlin put up four points for Douglas and Ryan McPeek rounded the scoring out with two.
With the win, Douglas, currently ranked No. 4 in the region, moved into a three-way tie with Reno and Hug for first place in the Sierra League. Hug beat Reno and Reno beat Douglas in the first go-around.
The Tigers next take on Wooster Monday in Minden at 7 p.m.
HUG 62, No. 10 DOUGLAS 59
A much-improved Hug Hawks team stunned the Tigers, outscoring Douglas 41-31 through the middle two quarters after Douglas appeared ready to run away with it leading 16-9 in the first.
Dana Pardee and Jessica Waggoner each scored 16 for the Tigers and Sarah Hartley added 13 but the Tigers were unable to make a run at the end.
Douglas had a chance to tie the game up several times in the last few minutes and even drew within one point with two minutes remaining.
The Tigers opened with an impressive 11-4 run, but Hug came alive at the start of the second quarter with 10-2 run to take a 19-18 lead.
Douglas opened up another lead to start the third quarter, going on an 8-2 run to push the score to 40-34 but Hug answered with a steady basket-for-basket stretch with the Tigers.
The Hawks closed the quarter out with an 11-3 run to take the lead for good.
Douglas dropped to 8-13 overall and 2-4 in Sierra League play with the loss.