Douglas boys get road win at Damonte Ranch | NevadaAppeal.com
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Douglas boys get road win at Damonte Ranch

Joey Crandall

RENO – The Douglas boys’ basketball team got the key plays it needed down the stretch to hold off a late rally Tueday night, taking a 69-64 win at Damonte Ranch.

The Tigers trailed five times – only once after the first quarter – and led by as many as nine points. Still, it took a Luis Pina-Duarte free-throw with 13 seconds left to essentially seal the win.

With two minutes remaining, Damonte’s Mike Henzel hit a layup to cut the score to 62-60.

“The big thing was just taking care of the ball and making smart decisions,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “We had the lead, but we weren’t making good decisions to put the game away and that’s what allowed Damonte to keep coming back.

“They are the type of team that you have to take care of those types of things if you want to get out with a win.”

Jeremy Burkhart, who led Douglas with 15 points, hit a layup out of the timeout to give Douglas a four-point lead. Jorey Scott, who finished with 11 points, had a wide-open basket after the Tigers broke the Mustangs’ press with 42.2 seconds left and Austin Neddenriep (eight points) appeared to seal the win with 18.9 seconds left with a layup of his own.

Damonte got a late free-throw with 14 seconds left, to make it a potential two-possession game at 68-62.

Pina-Duarte’s final free-throw, though, extended it back out to a three-possession game, making the Mustangs’ basket with 4.8 seconds left essentially harmless.

The Mustangs carried a 22-20 lead out of the first quarter, but Douglas steadily put together and 8-2 run to start the second and take a 28-24 lead. Burkhart later hit a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers to highlight a 9-2 run that put the Tigers up 37-28.

An 8-0 run in the second half, though, helped the Mustangs vault back out in front 47-45 with less a little over a minute left in the third quarter.

Brett Anderson came up with a pair of 3-pointers within 30 seconds of eachother and under one minute left to put Douglas back up for good at 51-47.

Anderson put up a career-high eight points, a total equaled by Garrett Getty, while freshman Hunter Myers had 11.

Chris Downs had five for Douglas (7-6 overall, 2-0 Sierra League) and Theo Denson had two to round out the Tigers’ scoring with Pina-Duarte’s free-throw.

Jack Denzler had 17 points to lead the Mustangs, who hit only one 3-pointer as a team during the game.

“They’re a great shooting team, but they just weren’t able to knock them down tonight,” Thacker said. “That’s something we’re really going to have to watch out for next time.

“It’s a credit to our guys, though, getting out and pressuring the ball. That caused Damonte some trouble. Now we have the ball pressure we’re looking for outside, but we have to close things down inside, because they hit a ton of shots in there tonight.”