Douglas girls fall to Elko
Nevada Appeal News Service
MINDEN – Even wearing the throwback Tennessee-orange uniforms to honor the 2001-02 Northern 4A Regional champions, the Douglas girls’ basketball team couldn’t harness that squad’s magic as the game went down to the wire.
Elko pulled out a 55-53 victory on a jumper inside the paint from Shelly Bruns with five seconds left on the clock with Douglas’ former regional championship team in the stands for their five-year reunion Friday night.
“Those orange unis just didn’t come through for us tonight,” Douglas coach Werner Christen said with a laugh. “Those things have been hanging in our storage closet and we thought we’d dust them off and bring them out tonight. It was a fun deal and the kids who came back for tonight enjoyed it too.
“Seriously though, that was just a great high school basketball game.”
Indeed it was.
Douglas came back from a deficit as large as 11 points at one point and claimed the lead at 51-48 with 2:21 left before Elko’s Sarah Inman hit a 10-footer and a 3-pointer on consecutive trips down the floor to put the Indians up 53-51 with 1:23 left.
“Their shot at the end was big, but when (Inman) made that 10-footer when we were up by three, that was a big shot for them,” Christen said.
The late rally for the Indians spoiled what was otherwise an extremely solid second half for the Tigers.
Leading 13-11 heading into the second quarter, Elko put together an 8-0 run on baskets from Taylor Altenburg, Brooke Casagranda, Sierra Dunbar and Inman to take a 21-11 lead.
They extended that to 26-15 over the next two minutes before Douglas launched a run of its own.
The Tigers’ Bridget Maestretti scored five of her 15 points on the night on twin dribble-drives, converting a 3-point play on one to cut the score to 26-20 with 1:25 left in the half.
She hit a 3-pointer with 20.1 seconds left and teammate Allie Hughes hit a 3-pointer from the baseline at the buzzer to send the teams into the locker rooms with Elko leading 29-26.
“Elko had 13 offensive rebounds in the first half and we brought that down to three in the second,” Christen said. “It was just a matter of not giving them second shots. That’s what got us back into the game.”
The teams essentially traded points for the first six minutes of the third before Gina Pfaffenberger hit a runner with 2:38 left to tie the score up at 39.
“I thought Gina really had a nice game for us tonight,” Christen said. “She and Taryn (Williams) have really been a two-headed monster for us in that 4 spot this season.”
Altenburg hit a pair of free throws and Maestretti hit the front end of a pair to work the score to 41-40 in favor of Elko entering the fourth.
Hughes hit another 3-pointer to open the fourth, giving Douglas the lead at 43-41, but Altenburg answered that to take the lead back.
“They can really shoot,” Christen said. “They didn’t miss any open shots and they were very solid offensively.”
The Tigers did hold Altenburg, who is bound for New Mexico State next year, to 10 points.
“She had kind of an off night, but I’d like to think our defense played a part in that,” Christen said.
Douglas took a 49-48 lead on a putback from Waggoner with 3:19 left and she hit a pair of free throws with 2:21 left to extend that to 51-48. Inman answered with her jumper to grab the momentum back and Elko pushed ahead for the win.
Douglas had a chance to put something together after calling a timeout with five seconds left, but Elko’s full-court press to finish the game didn’t allow the Tiger guards to get in a position to shoot.
“They did a good job of pressuring us there,” Christen said. “They did a real good job of denying our guards a shot there at the end.
“Five seconds isn’t a lot of time to work with so we just drew up our regular press offense and ran it.”
Waggoner finished with a game-high 23 points while Pfaffenberger had seven, Hughes had six and Nicole Didero added one.
Elko (5-1) was led by Dunbar with 17 points and got 10 points apiece from Inman and Marinda Torres.
Douglas dropped to 9-3 heading into next week’s Lady Bulldog Holiday Invitational in Las Vegas.