MINDEN — A 19-2 run inside the final five minutes before halftime put the Douglas High girls basketball team on track to its 54-37 regular season-ending victory at home against Carson Saturday afternoon at Randy Green Court.
Six players scored points during a span of 4 minutes, 35 seconds in the second quarter as the Tigers turned a 17-15 deficit into a 34-19 halftime advantage in a shootout to decide second-place in the Sierra League.
Carson (7-9 league, 12-13 overall) was simply never able to recover as Douglas (8-8, 11-14) went onto secure a win that clinched the league’s No. 2 seed into the Northern 4A Region Tournament this coming week.
By winning, Douglas earned the right to host No. 3 High Desert League seed Spanish Springs in the first round Wednesday night. No. 3 seed Carson will travel to Reed (High Desert No. 2) on Wednesday.
Taylynn Kizer and Hannah Carr scored 16 and 15 points respectively to lead Douglas offensively, while Madi Smalley added nine points and 11 rebounds. Madison Rodgers contributed eight points and nine rebounds in her first game since going down with a knee injury in the first quarter of the Tigers’ season opener on Dec. 6.
“They did a real good job in the second quarter … that was the game right there,” Carson coach Melissa Larsen said. “We turned the ball over too many times against their press and we didn’t box out.”
Carson was without sophomore post player Hailey Garver, who had a sprained ankle. Garver played an important role in the Senators 42-32 win at home against Douglas on Jan. 24.
“We hope to have her back for Wednesday,” Larsen said of Garver. “She gives us a lot of stability.”
The Tigers enjoyed a 46-27 advantage in the rebound column, led by Hailey Hughes with 13, six on the offensive end. Douglas collected 20 offensive rebounds.
“Give Carson credit; they came out ready to play,” Douglas coach Werner Christen said. “They were down Haley … she’s a big part of what that team does.”
Carson led 14-11 after one quarter, however, the Senators were outscored 23-8 in the second quarter. Bella Kordonowy converted one of two free throws to give Carson a 17-15 lead, however, the Senators went scoreless over the next three minutes as Douglas started a run that just seemed to snowball.
Rodgers helped spark the Tigers’ when she sank a pair of free throws with 4:35 left in the second quarter. Carr scored on a fast break layup moments later to give the Tigers a lead they never relinquished. Carr added two free throws, Hailey Hughes made one of two free throws. Next, Rodgers pressured the Senators into a turnover that led to Kizer sinking a 3-pointer from the right side, assisted by Alexa Moss, that stretched the lead to 25-17. In the final 1:17, sophomore Kevyn Reid sank a 3-pointer, Kizer hit a medium range jumper, Smalley converted two free throws and scored on a putback at the buzzer to make it 34-19 at the intermission.
“We were able to mix it up,” Christen said. “The kids shared the ball well, we made some shots, and from there, it was like a snowball rolling down the mountain.”
Carson never got any closer than 11 points in the second half.
Lauren Lemburg and Kordonowy led Carson with nine points each. Dajarrah Navarro added eight points and 13 rebounds (five offensive) for the Senators.