Douglas High boys basketball
Kasen Boggs (1) goes up for a layup Monday night against McQueen. Boggs put together 33 points in Douglas' win over the Lancers in the Class 5A regional quarterfinal.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
Douglas High boys’ basketball only had 19 points at the halftime intermission Monday night against McQueen in the Class 5A regional quarterfinal.
However, a 49-point second half was enough to push the Tigers past the Lancers for the third time this season, 68-57, and into the regional semifinal.
Wednesday, Douglas will play for a chance to clinch a state tournament berth at No. 2 Bishop Manogue.
The two teams have split their two meetings this season with the home team winning both of the first two matchups.
Tip-off Wednesday is set for 6:30 p.m.
“They have five guys that are very, very good basketball players. … We’re going to have to play team defense and we have to cover their threes,” said Douglas head coach Corey Thacker of the Miners. “They are playing maybe seven players the whole time. It’ll be a battle.”
Closing when it counts
Douglas shut the door with 31 points in the fourth quarter.
After coming off a record-setting 3-point performance Friday, the Tigers only hit one triple against McQueen.
The Tigers made their living at the free throw line Monday night, earning 36 shots at the charity stripe and hitting 25 of them.
Kasen Boggs was a big part of Douglas’ success at the line as the senior captain went 16-of-22 from the free throw line.
Boggs ended the night with a game-high 33 points.
“It was nice for our guys to respond in the second half,” said Thacker. “We weren’t knocking down shots at all. I thought we were settling a little bit too much for them.”
The regional quarterfinal never had a ton of flow, with both teams getting whistled for 20-plus fouls when all things were said and done.
To end the third quarter, Boggs sank the only triple for the Tigers while fading away into the Douglas bench to beat the buzzer.
“It just showed the tenacity for the kids, just battling that whole third quarter,” said Thacker. “Where we usually struggle is the second half of that third quarter.”
Connor Ward hit Boggs for an and-one opportunity to open up the fourth quarter after a JC Reid bucket.
Ward drove to the rim for the Tigers’ next basket, taking a 44-37 lead.
Chris Smalley followed with a layup and Reid drove the left side of the lane before reversing his way for a right-handed layup.
The 9-2 run left Douglas with a 48-39 lead with 4:32 to go in regulation, serving as the Tigers’ biggest lead to that point.
Caden Thacker scored the next four points for Douglas, all of which came at the free throw line.
A Smalley putback and a Kasen Boggs steal into a transition layup gave Douglas a 61-49 lead inside of the final minute.
Smalley registered another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Douglas.
The rest of the way, the Tigers took care of business at the free throw line, letting McQueen get no closer than eight points.
“That whole fourth quarter we had to take looks inside. … We didn’t settle and when we had to knock down free throws in the last two minutes we were knocking them down.”
Though senior guard Dakota Jones didn’t finish with any points, his defensive tenacity allowed him to poke away four steals to go along with six pass deflections.
Slow opening half
Fouls littered the opening 16 minutes of play between Douglas and McQueen.
The Lancers shot 13 free throws in the opening half and got some assistance from the Tigers getting into foul trouble.
Lancer sophomore big man, Amari Davis, had 10 points at the break and finished the night with 27 points for McQueen.
The 6-foot-8 center had a putback basket to start the second quarter before picking up nine free throw opportunities through the rest of the quarter.
“We just weren’t smart with how we handled him. We put him on the line too many times,” said Thacker of Davis. “We have to understand what type of player he is and it didn’t seem like we were in sync defensively and we have to fix that for Wednesday.”
Douglas started the second half on a 10-3 run, to take a 29-27 lead before pulling away at the end of the third.
Douglas High's Dakota Jones (5) drives the baseline against McQueen Monday night. Jones' defense was an instrumental part of the Tigers picking up a win over the Lancers and advancing to the Class 5A regional semifinals. / Ron Harpin)