Hawks outlast Tigers in boys basketball season-opener
BY DARRELL MOODY
Nevada Appeal Sports Writer
RENO ” As season-opening games go, this one was unusually sloppy.
Douglas turned the ball over 29 times, and Hug turned those mistakes into 23 points and a 58-55 nonconference boys basketball victory Saturday at the Reno Events Center.
Despite the mistakes, this one still came down to the wire. Douglas had two chances in the final 30 seconds to win, but came up short. C.J. Marcotte’s potential game-tying 3-pointer went out at the buzzer.
“It was very ugly turnover-wise,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “We’re going to play 11 or 12 guys out there all the time, and they have to take care of the ball. I was happy with our effort out there. We gave up 12 offensive rebounds in the second half, and 10 of those came in the third quarter. (The Hawks) took a big lead in the third quarter (because of that). We cleaned it up in the fourth quarter.”
Hug, playing without Courtney Gardner and Duke Williams for the entire fourth quarter, got some big buckets from Proctor Lotuleilei down the stretch to outlast the Tigers. Lotuleilei scored all eight of his points in the second half, including six in the fourth quarter. He also blocked a shot in the final minute.
Gardner and Williams were benched by coach Brian Voyles after Williams, who led the Hawks with 16 points, threw an alley-oop pass off the backboard to Gardner, who was called for a technical foul for hanging onto the rim.
“We had a one-point lead at the time,” Voyles said. “You don’t do that. They are going to learn from that. That wasn’t my starting five in there (at the end), but they got it done.”
A putback by Stephen Cramer gave the Hawks a 52-44 lead with 4:03 left in the game.
Douglas got two free throws from Parker Robertson to slice the lead to 52-46, but Lotuleilei scored with 3:23 remaining to boost the lead back up to eight, 54-46.
Lotuleilei scored on a layup for a 57-51 lead, but two free throws by Marcotte and a putback by Michael Whalin made it 57-55 with 44 seconds left. Lotuleilei turned the ball over on the Hawks’ next possession, but redeemed himself when he blocked a Douglas shot at the other end of the floor.
Marcotte, who led all scorers with 24 points, had a chance to tie or put the Tigers ahead, but his 18-footer from the right baseline was a bit long, and the ball went off Whalin’s hands.
Forced to foul, the Tigers hacked Jaevis Johnson, who hit the first shot to make it 58-55. He missed the second, giving the Tigers one last chance to extend the game to an overtime period.
“We got exactly the shot we were looking for,” Thacker said. “We wanted a good shot at the rim, and that’s what we got.”
Douglas led by five points twice in the first quarter, 9-4 and 13-8, but the athleticism of Hug’s Williams and Gardner enabled the Hawks to take a 29-28 lead at halftime. Williams scored on a driving layup with 27 seconds left to give the Hawks a one-point advantage.
Williams and Gardner both scored six points in the second quarter, including a bucket apiece to vault the Hawks to a 23-21 lead.
A 3-pointer by Williams and two buckets by Anthony Johnson, who had eight in the quarter, gave the Hawks a 38-33 lead. Douglas regained the lead, 39-38 on a bucket by Cole Pete and two tough layups by Marcotte.
Johnson keyed an 8-4 run to give the Hawks 46-43 lead after three and, thanks to Lotuleilei’s play at both ends of the quarter, they remained in front the entire fourth period.
– Contact Darrell Moody at email@example.com or (775) 881-1281