Douglas boys fall just short vs. Faith Lutheran |

Douglas boys fall just short vs. Faith Lutheran

Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service

MINDEN – For the second night in a row, the Douglas boys’ basketball team found itself down in the second half and for the second night in a row, the Tigers clawed their way right back into the game.

Saturday night, though, the outcome didn’t go in the Tigers’ favor.

Douglas overcame a large lead against defending 3A state champion Faith Lutheran and tied the game at 63 with 15 seconds left only to have the Crusaders escape with the win on a basket and foul shot from Michael Amico with one second left on the clock.

Faith Lutheran, which led for all but about four minutes of the game, growing its lead to as many as 13 points in the third quarter, took the Carson Valley Classic title with the 66-63 win. The Crusaders beat 4A schools Bishop Manogue and Carson to get to the title game.

“They are a solid team,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker. “They are a 4A caliber team. They have some real quality guys and play solid basketball.”

Faith Lutheran was led by Amico with 16 points while Deonte Wright scored 15 and Conner Maloney, who was named the tournament MVP, scored 12.

Douglas was left playing on its heels nearly from the start as Faith Lutheran built an 18-9 lead through the first quarter primarily with scrappy play under the basket.

“They were getting those offensive rebounds and making us pay with those garbage baskets underneath,” Thacker said. “That was a testament to the kinds of athletes they had out there. Obviously, that is something we are going to need to work on this week, because we’ll be seeing those same types of athletes all year, especially when league play starts up.”

After the rough first quarter, the Tigers outscored or tied the Crusaders in each of the remaining quarters and appeared ready to run away with the game late in the fourth.

Douglas trailed 56-47 with a little more than six minutes left, but a Ross Bertelone jumper launched what would be a 17-2 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes to put Douglas up 59-58.

Junior James McLaughlin, who led the Tigers with 20 points in the game, hit a pair of 3-pointers during the run, the last of which put Douglas up with 2:05 remaining. McLaughlin’s shot forced a Faith Lutheran timeout.

“It showed something for us that we were able to bounce back,” Thacker said. “But we also dug ourselves that hole to begin with. That’s something we can’t keep doing.”

The Crusaders came out of the timeout with a putback from Amico to retake the lead. Kevin Emm hit a pair of free throws 42 seconds later to put Douglas back up at 61-60.

That would be the Tigers’ last lead of the day as Amico hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 1:09 left and hit another pair of foul shots with 46 seconds remaining for the 63-61 lead.

Jeff Nady scored with 15 seconds left to tie the game up, but Faith Lutheran brought it back down, setting Amico up for his game-winner, which he also drew a foul on.

Douglas got its second strong game in a row from David Laird as he scored 14 points while Emm scored 13 and Nady finished with 12. Ross Bertolone was the only other Tiger to put points on the board, scoring four.

“David had a great tournament no doubt,” Thacker said. “He played really well. I thought tonight Kevin was consistent and James was getting to the rim well. We started putting things together a lot more and we’re just trying to get better every game.

“That’s what our preseason is all about. Obviously we would’ve liked a win, but it just didn’t come out that way.”

Douglas dropped to 2-2 on the year and will take on another 3A school, Lowry, in the first round of the George Maldonado Classic at Galena High School Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. It will play Sky View High School, of Utah, at 6 p.m. Thursday.