Douglas boys roll against Damonte Ranch | NevadaAppeal.com

Douglas boys roll against Damonte Ranch

by Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service

If there was any question as to how the Douglas boys’ basketball team would respond to losing four consecutive games at the prestigious George Maldonado Classic last week, the Tigers sure didn’t waste much time answering it.

Douglas opened up with a 13-2 run against Damonte Ranch Thursday night and used that as a catalyst in an impressive 86-46 win in Minden to open Sierra League play.

“We were worried, there was no question about that,” Douglas coach Rob Streeter said. “Monday and Tuesday, our practices weren’t exactly where we wanted them to be. We were 6-0 and then in four days we lost four games.

“We had some good team meetings and got ourselves back on track and you saw what the outcome was tonight. It was nice to get back in the win column, and nice to open league play with a win.”

Douglas (7-4 overall, 1-0 Sierra League) put up its second-highest point total of the season as four different players finished in double figures, but it was Douglas’ defense that was more impressive Thursday night, creating a number of blazing fast breaks and stifling the Damonte Ranch offense.

“I think the defensive mentality of this team is in a lot of ways a carry over from football,” said Douglas forward Nate Whalin, who has been one of the defensive leaders for the Tigers so far this season and also started at defensive end for the Tiger football team. “A couple of us were on the football team and that intensity, that defensive attitude just kind of stuck.

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“We were really down as a team after last week. Two of those games (against national powers Arlington Country Day and Artesia), we weren’t really expected to win those, but the second two we really felt should have ended differently.

“The good thing was that we saw that our defense is able to keep us in games, even when the offense isn’t clicking like it should. We wanted to continue that defensive effort tonight, but we also really wanted to get the offense going and we did.”

Whalin, who finished the night with four points, said the team went through a series of drills focused soley on moving the ball with passes and no dribbling.

“We worked on our back-door cuts too and it showed tonight,” he said. “Things were just more fluid. We worked the ball around well and you could see it on our fast breaks.”

Douglas took a comfortable 44-24 lead into halftime and then blew the game open in the third quarter with runs of 8-2 and 13-2.

Senior center Keith Olson finished the game with 20 points, Jeff Nady had 17, Mike Gransbery had 13 with three 3-pointers and James McLaughlin had 11 with one 3-pointer.

David Laird just missed the double-figure cut at nine points, Kevin Emm had seven points and Jared Trowbridge and Joe Nady each had two points.