Douglas High girls basketball
The Douglas High girls basketball team storms the floor in celebration of winning its regional semifinal game against Damonte Ranch, clinching a spot in the Class 5A state tournament.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
For the first time since 2002, the Douglas High girls’ basketball is headed to the Nevada High School state basketball tournament.
The Tigers met Damonte Ranch Thursday night in the regional semifinal and left with a 45-36 win.
It wasn’t necessarily a pretty finish for the Tigers, but taking care of business at the charity stripe ensured Douglas’ season will continue for at least two more games.
Douglas will play in the regional final against No. 1 seed, Bishop Manogue, after the Miners bested McQueen, 63-32, in the other regional semifinal Thursday night.
Douglas and Bishop Manogue will tangle for the Class 5A regional title Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Carson High School.
“It’s just unbelievable. We just believed in ourselves and we knew we could do it,” said Douglas junior Camden Miller. “We are stoked.”
“We believed in each other more than I’ve ever seen, in this game,” said senior captain Campbell Dedmon. “I think that chemistry carried us to the end.”
None of the players on the Tigers’ roster were born the last time the Douglas girls were state tournament bound.
(Douglas High's Camden Miller shoots a 3-pointer against Damonte Ranch Thursday night. Miller scored a team-high 21 points in the Tigers' win. / Ron Harpin)
Holding off the Mustangs
Douglas’ defense was instrumental Thursday night as the Tigers led 27-10 at the halftime intermission.
For roughly a 12-minute stretch, the Tigers didn’t allow Damonte Ranch to score a point, going on a 23-0 run over that span.
During the run, the Tigers’ passing ability was on full display.
Aleeah Weaver hit Miller for a corner 3-pointer to close the first quarter, giving Douglas a 15-6 lead after eight minutes.
To start the second quarter, Katrina Butalon grabbed offensive board and sank a reverse layup.
From there, Dedmon dished out back-to-back assists to Butalon and Miller for scores.
Addy Doerr returned the favor to Dedmon for a layup to give Douglas a 23-6 edge.
Damonte Ranch, who was without its second leading scorer – Seini Tuipulotu – for the entirety of the first half due to injury.
“That could be a different outcome if she’s playing the whole game,” said Douglas head coach Jason Carter. “Her presence on the floor obviously made a difference. She’s able to stretch us.”
When Tuipulotu did enter in the second half, the Mustangs willed their way back into it.
Khalilah Corley scored 25 of the Miners’ 36 total points and spurred the comeback attempt in the third quarter.
Her final basket of the night was a 3-pointer from the top of the arc that cut the gap to, 35-32 Douglas.
“We had a lot of empty possessions there, causing years to drop off my life, but they held it together,” said Carter.
However, a put back basket from Miller and Douglas going 8-of-14 from the charity stripe in the final minutes closed out the win.
Miller ended the night with 21 points for the Tigers and had nine rebounds to go along with four steals.
Doerr pulled down 10 rebounds for Douglas while Riley Mello had two big blocks.
“We just needed to know that we were going to win,” said Miller.
Keeping the faith
It’s been a bit of a tumultuous season for the Douglas girls.
A coaching change down the final stretch of the season could’ve rocked the team chemistry.
Losing three out of five against some of the top teams in the North in late January could’ve done the same.
Instead, Douglas rallied with four wins to close out the season and two more to punch their ticket to state.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to do this with any other team,” said Dedmon. “I think it just makes us realize how hard we really worked for it. We still did it, even through all those ups and downs.”
“I feel great for the girls, all of them, but especially the seniors,” said Carter. “The hard work they put in from the middle of October to now is paying off.”
(Campbell Dedmon dribbles around a Damonte Ranch defender Thursday night in the Class 5A North regional semifinals. / Ron Harpin)