The Douglas boys' basketball team will take a five-game win streak down to the Amare Stoudemire Invitational in Las Vegas after hanging on for a 66-64 win over a scrappy Elko team Friday night.
The Tigers managed only one sustained run in the game (10-0 in the first quarter to work the score to 14-3) and Elko drained nine 3-pointers to stay in a game that Douglas appeared at several points to be ready to take complete control of.
"We were giving them too much space and giving them opportunities to score (from outside)," Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. "We knew who their shooters were coming in, but didn't have constant ball pressure tonight. It just didn't happen in this game."
The Tigers builts leads of 11, nine and seven points in the game, but each time the Indians found a way to get back in it.
Douglas (5-3) led 63-57 and 52 seconds left on the clock after an Austin Neddenriep layup, which ended up being the Tigers' final field goal of the game.
Elko hit four free throws over the final minute while the Tigers three to work the score to 66-61 before an Elko 3-pointer with three seconds left cut the deficit to two.
Elko's Anthony Painter intercepted the ensuing inbound pass, but was called for travelling with one second left on the clock.
The Tigers were able to run out the clock from there.
Jeremy Burkhart led Douglas with 18 points and came up with a pair of big steals late in the game.
"That's the thing when you have eight or 10 guys scoring regularly for you, is you know someone is going to step up and have a good game," Thacker said. "Jeremy has been playing hard and playing well. It wsa good to see him get a little reward for his hard work with a game like that."
Neddenriep added 10 points, Chris Downs, Matt Thomas and Hunter Myers each had eight, Luis Pina-Duarte and Jorey Scott each had four and Garrett Getty and Theo Denson each had two.
Austin Brown led Elko with 19 points and five 3-pointers.
Heading into the Las Vegas tournament, Thacker said the team is looking to improve its defense.
"Our big thing is just playing night in and night out," he said. "We need to play solid defense. It doesn't matter what they're showing us, we need to make stops. We need to rotate and take some charges.
"We just want to continue to improve this coming week."
The Douglas girls' basketball team got a big boost heading into its winter break Friday night, coming from behind to beat Lowry 43-42 in overtime in Minden.
The Tigers, who lost to the Buckaroos last week in the High Sierra Winter Classic, trailed 33-23 early in the fourth quarter, but held Lowry without a field goal over the final seven minutes of regulation.
"We played really smart down the stretch," Douglas coach Werner Christen said. "I thought we ran our offense better and took care of the ball. We weren't forcing things toward the end and that paid off."
The score was tied at 40 with 21 seconds left in overtime before Katie Dry made a layup and drew a foul. She hit the ensuing free throw, which proved to be crucial as Lowry scored a basket with 1.8 seconds left to cut the deficit to one.
Douglas managed to run the clock out from there.
The Tigers trailed throughout regulation, only managing the tie late in the fourth and taking its first lead in overtime.
Ne'Jae Jackson led the Tigers with 13 points, Dry had seven, Jackie Harper, Natalie Freitas and Diana Regalado each had four, Alex Laing and Bri Burnside each had three, Tia Lyons had two and Susie White had one.
Douglas will get a break before heading the Las Vegas for the Centennial Tournament starting Dec. 28.
"We just need consistency," Christen said. "We are going to be working a lot on rebounding. We gave up 12 or 13 rebounds tonight. We have to work on making better decisions with the ball.
"We have a few practices before we head down there, so we can kind of regroup and see where we're at.
Christen said he's been pleased with the team's ability to defend down the stretch in close games.
"We've made stops when we needed to, and these close games are situations that are hard to duplicate in practice," he said. "Coach (Dave) Pfaffenberger handles a lot of the defensive stuff and he's done a great job with them.
"This was huge, winning tonight. We just wanted to play hard and see what happens."