Douglas High boys basketball
Christopher Smalley (30) slams home an alley-oop dunk from Kasen Boggs in the Class 5A regional title game Saturday evening at Carson High.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
Two years ago, Douglas High boys’ basketball was eliminated from playoff contention on Carson High’s floor.
After not having a season last year, the Tigers returned and planted their flag as the Class 5A Northern Regional champs with a 54-43 win over Spanish Springs Saturday night.
“It’s just amazing. The kids have put in the time. This group has put in time for the last four years,” said Douglas head coach Corey Thacker. “That’s just how they are. They earned it and they deserved it. It’s great for our program.”
Douglas will head into the Nevada High School state tournament as the No. 1 seed from the North, opening up play Friday against Liberty (20-4) at 8:40 p.m. at the Lawlor Events Center.
(The Douglas High boys basketball team poses for a photo with the Class 5A Northern Region Champions plaque at Carson High Saturday evening. / Ron Harpin)
At halftime, the two teams were tied at 33-33 after the Cougars of Spanish Springs hit eight triples in the opening 16 minutes.
Douglas switched from a 2-3 zone to man-to-man defense and limited the Cougars to just 10 points in the second half.
“We had to change up our defense. … We had to do something different,” said Thacker. “To win a championship you have to play defense and that was huge.”
Kasen Boggs ended the night with a team-high 16 points while junior forward Theo Reid added 14 of his own.
Chris Smalley, who threw down a vicious alley-oop to start the contest, finished the evening with 13 points.
“It means the world. We put in so many countless mornings, nights. It just means the world,” said Boggs. “We’ve all just bought in. (Theo) He steps up. ”
“I’ve been playing with these guys longer than I’ve not been playing with these guys,” said Reid. “I’m just happy I can step up for my teammates and help out.”
After being tied to start the second half, Douglas rallied with a 12-3 third quarter and a 9-7 fourth to close out the regional final.
For senior Chris Smalley, who has had plenty of ups and downs in the last calendar year, the regional crown exemplifies the work he’s put in just to make it back on the floor.
“It means everything. I wish my dad was here to celebrate with me,” said Smalley. “These are my friends since second grade. This is all we’ve talked about. It means everything to me. It means so much.”
“We were a young team my sophomore year. … Our guys were in the gym constantly. Since, this summer, we’ve been talking about hanging a banner,” said Smalley.
For Smalley, he and the other Tigers also got to cut down the nets at Carson High.
“It was cherry on the cake. It was perfect. It was awesome.”
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