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Faith Lutheran tops Douglas hoops for third place in Carson Valley Classic

BY JOEY CRANDALL

Nevada Appeal News Service

MINDEN ” Saturday’s game against Southern 3A power Faith Lutheran was the final test run the Douglas boys basketball team will get before opening league play at Fallon on Tuesday.

While the Crusaders used 12-2 fourth-quarter run to pull away with a 63-47 win over the Tigers and take third place in the Carson Valley Classic, the good sign for Douglas was that it played some of its best basketball so far this season.

“We’re getting to the point where we have to pick a solid rotation and start settling into something,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “We had some guys step up this week and show us something.”

Douglas opened the game with the same set of players for the first six minutes and avoided a slow start ” something that had become somewhat of a trend early in the year.

The Tigers matched Faith Lutheran basket-for-basket, trading the lead five times during that six-minute stretch.

While the Crusaders opened up the second quarter leading 18-12 after a 6-2 run, Douglas answered right back with a 9-2 run over a two-minute stretch to reclaim the lead at 21-20.

“The first half was some of the best basketball we have played,” Thacker said, “The kids are working, they are playing hard every single day and they are thinking through the game. Slowly, we are making progressions to where we want to be.

“Every day we are taking steps, some days are bigger than others, but they are focused and they are trying to get better. That’s a great thing.”

Faith Lutheran went into halftime leading 27-25, and used an 8-2 run to open the second half to put some distance between itself and Douglas.

Douglas kept it close heading into the fourth, but a 12-2 run over the first five minutes of the quarter sent Faith Lutheran to the win.

Tim Rudnick, who was named to the all-tournament team, led Douglas with 13 points while C.J. Marcotte had 10, Nick Hales had seven and Austin Neddenriep added six.

“What I like, what I saw this week, is that we are attacking the rim well,” Thacker said. “Timmy is doing a good job of that, Austin is doing a good job of that and C.J. is doing a good job of that.

“When we attack and make good decisions, it’s a great benefit to the whole team. It gets the ball moving, it gets us to the free-throw line and it just creates a lot of opportunities for us.”

Douglas will get some time off after the Fallon game before heading to Las Vegas for a tournament the day after Christmas. From there, they’ll travel to Elko before returning home for a league game against Damonte Ranch in early January.

“One big thing over these next couple weeks is we’ll be looking to play as a team,” Thacker said. “We’ll be on the road for some time and be in a hotel. That will be a good opportunity to bond as a team.

“Other than that, we’re just going to try to continue to develop everyone and have kids start understanding what their role will be with the team this year. We’ll be looking for consistency.”