Douglas basketball pulls away from Dayton | NevadaAppeal.com
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Douglas basketball pulls away from Dayton

Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service

The Dayton boys’ basketball team kept things relatively close with Douglas High for two quarters Thursday night.

In fact, for a three-minute stretch to close out the first half, the Dust Devils had grabbed the momentum in the game with a 9-2 run that sent them into halftime trailing 26-21.

Douglas exploded with a 52-point second half, however, and cruised to a 78-44 win in the first round of the Carson Valley Classic in Minden.

“We’re a team that has to learn every day,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “I think we took a step forward and up tonight. We need to keep doing that because we still have a long we to go.”

For example?

“Well, we still gave up too many offensive rebounds and we still really need to work on taking care of the ball,” he said. “The kids played hard for 32 minutes, though. We just need to keep at it.”

Dayton narrowed the gap to 26-23 to open the third quarter as Tannar Wood hit a layup 25 seconds in.

Douglas clamped down on its full-court press defense, however, and put together a 16-4 run over the next three minutes. Sophomore Austin Neddenriep, who got his first start of the season, sparked the run with nine points, many of which came off of Dayton turnovers.

“Turnovers for layups, turnovers for layups,” Dayton coach T.W. Cunningham said. “We hadn’t seen that press (from Douglas before). At times we did some good things against it and other times we just fell apart.”

Dayton managed a 4-0 run, three points coming from Dakota Lee, to cut the lead to 42-31, but Douglas closed out the quarter on a 9-0 run to go up 51-21.

“At halftime, we just talked about running our stuff,” Thacker said. “Because we are so young, it is still so much about repetition, repetition, repetition. That’s what we need to keep doing so we can gain experience.”

Tim Rudnick, who led all scorers with 25 points, essentially sealed the game to open the fourth with a personal 7-0 run. He hit a pair of free throws after Dayton was issued a technical for having too many players on the floor. He followed with a basket on the ensuing possession and closed it out with a 3-pointer.

Neddenriep finished with 17 points and sophomore Garrett Getty had eight. Nick Hales and Cale Pete each scored six points for Douglas as well.

Dayton got eight points each from Wood, Chris Sikora and Dakota Lee and six from Nate Vonahsen. Connor Conroy added four.

Douglas will play in the second round of the tournament at 7:30 tonight while Dayton shifts to the consolation bracket at 3 p.m.

“We just need to keep improving,” Cunningham said. “We’re young, we can make all the excuses we want. We just need to get better.”