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Olson leads Douglas boys past Hug

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

By DARRELL MOODY

Nevada Appeal News Service

MINDEN – Freshman Keith Olson putthe Douglas High basketball team on his burly back and carried it to one of the biggest wins in recent history.

The 6-foot-9 Olson scored a career-high 35 points, including 10 in overtime, to lead the Tigers to a 78-71 win over Hug in a wild Sierra League game Saturday night.

The win puts Douglas all alone at the top of the league with a 3-0 mark heading into a huge week with games against Reno (Tuesday at home), Wooster (Friday away) and Carson (Saturday away).

The performance by Olson, who also pulled down 12 rebounds and went 11-for-11 at the foul line, comes on the heels of his 17-point, 12-rebound effort in a win over South Tahoe on Friday.

“It’s not a performance you’d expect from a 14-year-old,” coach Keith Lewis said. “He was in the zone and feeling it. He had a great weekend for us. You saw the asset of him knocking down free throws like he can (11-for-11). He made some baskets while he’s really getting bumped, too. It’s tough to move him out of the block.”

“He took control of the game,” point guard Nick Summers said. “He played awesome. He won the game for us.”

Indeed. The youngster scored 18 of his game-high 35 in the fourth quarter and four-minute overtime period to stun the previously unbeaten Hawks. He finished 12-for-16 shooting unofficially.

“I had no idea (I’d scored that many),” Olson said. “I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t be able to get that many points without our point guards. They made some good passes down low. I didn’t want to let them down. I tried to stay in the flow of the game and not get too far ahead of myself.

“I’d been positioning myself too far down on the block. The coaches worked with me in practice on that.”

The extra work paid off. When Olson got the ball down in the blocks, he was money. Olson is an outstanding passer, but in the final 12 minutes of the game he was looking to score, and there wasn’t a thing Hug could do to stop him.

Olson started the overtime with a nice putback after a Mitchell Moore turnover. Marcelo Townsell gave the Hawks their only lead of overtime with a three-pointer from 25 feet to make it 65-64. Olson made it 66-65 with two foul shots, and Andy McIntosh scored on a layup to make it 68-65 with around two minutes left.

After two free throws by Moore, Olson scored two straight baskets to make it 72-67 with 1:15 left. McIntosh made another critical play when he rebounded a Luke Rippee (10 points) miss at the foul line, and eventually scored to make it a seven-point game (74-67) with less than 50 seconds remaining.

“This is a huge win for our program,” Lewis said. “I’m not into making statements; not into saying anything bold. I said in this locker room that there wasn’t a team that we were afraid to face. I knew with the addition of Keith we could play with anyone.

“The kids are playing with a lot of confidence. They are showing a lot of perseverance. They’ve faced adversity the last two games and fought through it.”

Lewis was referring to the nine-point first-quarter deficit that Douglas fought back from Friday, and the nine-point third-quarter deficit it battled back from Saturday.

In fact, the only thing Lewis might find fault with was in the closing 30 seconds of regulation when Douglas blew a 62-57 lead.

Hug scored five straight points in the final 29 seconds to tie it at 62. Three of those came on a long-range howitzer by Townsell, who wowed the partisan crowd with his marksmanship. Townsell finished with 21 points.

Douglas had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Eric Emm misfired on an open 18-footer with 2.4 left to play. Emm finished with nine points.

“We wanted to get the ball to Luke (Rippee), and we thought we might get Keith rolling to the basket,” Lewis said. “They flattened out on the baseline. We did get a good look.”

Douglas led 8-6 with 2:46 left in the opening quarter, and didn’t lead again until Olson knocked down two free throws with 2:19 left in the game to give the Tigers a 58-57 lead.

DOUGLAS GIRLS 75, HUG 20

Julie Gingrich, Kellei Kizer and Erin Brinkmeyer combined for 41 points to lead the Tigers (3-0) to an easy victory over winless Hug (0-4) Saturday afternoon.

Gingrich led the way with 17 on 7-for-10 shooting. Kizer knocked down four three-point field goals and two foul shots for 14, and Brinkmeyer finished with 10.

The Tigers go into their toughest week of the season, hosting Reno on Tuesday, visiting Wooster on Friday and visiting Carson on Saturday.

Unlike Friday when they turned the ball over 28 times in beating South Tahoe, the Tigers destroyed Hug in workmanlike fashion, shooting 47 percent from the field and turning the ball over 18 times. Most of those 18 came when the game’s outcome was already decided.

Douglas scored the game’s first 20 points, as Gingrich threw in four baskets and Brinkmeyer added five points. Hug didn’t score its first point until 2:20 remained in the first quarter.