Tiger boys cruise to historic win
Nevada Appeal News Service
SPARKS – It was a night of firsts all the way around for the Douglas boys’ basketball team as the Tigers rolled to a 77-51 win over Reed High School in the first round of the Northern 4A Regional playoffs in Sparks.
First 4A playoff win for coach Rob Streeter. First playoff win for the vaunted group of seniors at Douglas that has been trying since their sophomore year. First time the Tigers had their full starting lineup on the floor in a week.
But perhaps most importantly, it was the Tigers first playoff win in 15 years, ending a drought that has lingered since the 1992 Tigers topped Hug 63-60 in the Northern AAA Regional quarterfinals. That was also Douglas’ last boys’ team to advance to the state tournament.
It’s taken six tries since, three of which senior Keith Olson has been a part of, but things finally came together for the Tigers Wednesday night, poetically, against the team that last handed Douglas its ticket home for the year, a 66-63 loss at Reed in 2005.
“This was the same room we had to end our season in as sophomores,” senior forward Nate Whalin said. “We looked at tonight as our chance for revenge.”
Senior backup center Joe Nady nodded in agreement.
“Different ending this time,” he said. “This time we won.”
To be particular, this time it didn’t even end up being that close.
Douglas jumped out to an 11-2 lead with eight points from Olson, a basket from Jeff Nady and a 3-pointer from Mike Gransbery.
On the other side of the floor, Reed managed just one basket, which came more than two minutes into the game.
“I was very happy with the way we came out,” Douglas coach Rob Streeter said. “Our first possession lasted maybe 35 seconds and we got a good basket off it. That really set the tempo.”
Reed recovered with a 10-4 run over the last three minutes of the quarter, bringing the score to 15-12.
“We got a little lax after we built that early lead, and they’re the type of team that can take advantage of that,” Streeter said. “We knew they had a couple guys that could potentially cause us trouble, so we had to keep moving on defense.”
Reed tied the game up at the start of the second quarter with a basket from star guard Omarri Williams and a free throw from Kevin Rastellini.
From then on, Douglas took over.
Nady hit a basket and Kevin Emm added the Tigers’ next eight points before Douglas launched a 13-0 run over the last three minutes of the half to take a 38-22 lead into the locker room.
“I was very pleased with our perimeter rebounding,” Streeter said. “Reed is a team that will throw up the 3-pointers on you, and the kids did a good job of tracking down the misses.”
For the game, Reed finished with only three 3-pointers.
The Tigers allowed just one field goal in the third quarter, turning around 21 points of their own to build a 59-32 lead and cruise from there.
“We have our sights set pretty high,” Streeter said. “The kids are playing with a bit of a chip on their shoulder because no one really sees us coming. They’re playing hard and they played well tonight.”
Olson led the Tigers with 21 points while Emm finished with 13 and Jeff Nady, James McLaughlin and Gransbery each had 12.
“Keith is feeling pretty well, he had a lot of bounce tonight,” Streeter said. “That foot injury has been nagging at him so it was good to see him with so much energy tonight.”
Ryan McPeek scored four points, David Laird had two and Jared Trowbridge rounded out the scoring with one free throw for the Tigers, who improved to 22-8 overall on the year.
Douglas next plays Friday night in the regional semifinals against Reno at 5 p.m. at Spanish Springs High School.