There were several times when Granada High School, out of Livermore, Calif., was simply going to pick up and run away with the game Friday night, but the Douglas boys basketball team just wouldn’t lie down.
The Tigers fought back from an 11-point deficit and closed the game out with a frantic 17-9 run but ran out of time as Granada took a 56-53 victory in the second round of the Carson Valley Classic at Douglas High School.
“Granada really controlled the tempo through the first 28 minutes of the game, but we were finally able to start dictating things a little in the fourth quarter,” Douglas head coach Keith Lewis said. “We knew heading into halftime that we’d have to find a way to get things going and we just couldn’t get it tonight.
“I was very impressed with Granada. They are a tough team and they did what they had to do.”
Skylar McNabb led the Tigers with 24 points on the night, 13 of which came in the fourth quarter. He hit a 3-point shot from the middle of nowhere with less than 10 seconds left, and after a pair of missed free throws from Granada, he hit another from the exact same spot as the buzzer sounded to draw Douglas within three.
Keith Olson had six of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to help the Tigers claw back into the game, but the Tigers late surge just couldn’t make up for a night full of cold team shooting and turnovers.
“We came out tight,” Lewis said. “Maybe we made them a little nervous last night by telling them that this was a very good team and that they’d be in a battle. They came out shooting cold, and with a young team that is hard to overcome.
“Our guys didn’t run their lanes well in the first half. We were taking some difficult shots and really playing outside of ourselves.”
Lewis said that even in the face of an off night for the squad, he was pleased to see how they continued to fight.
“Coming back like that really did showed their competitive nature,” Lewis said. “This is a game that we can really build on. We were able to stay in it and make a run at them. We had a chance to win it at the end and that is extremely good experience. You know when you head in like this, giving the young guys that kind of experience, that there are going to be peaks and valleys. We expected that and we can get better from it.”
The teams each shot pretty evenly from the field, but Granada distanced itself at the free throw line, making 17 of 27 shots from the charity stripe.
Douglas had only 13 free throws and made six of those.
“A close game like this, they almost always come down to what went on at the free throw line,” Lewis said. “They simply just got to the stripe more than we did.”
The teams were tied at 14 after the first quarter, but Granada built a steady nine-point lead to take into the locker room for halftime.
Douglas won the second half, outscoring Granada 32-26 but simply couldn’t make the big run when it needed to. Granada threatened to pull away several times in the second half, but some gritty and opportunistic play on defense kept the Tigers in it.
Zack Radecke led Granada with 21 points and Mike Lewis scored 16.