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Douglas boys outlast Hug, advance to regional final
by Dan Eckles
Feb 17, 2011 | 822 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CARSON CITY — If ever there were a game of runs it came Thursday night at Carson High School. Hug and Douglas traded spurts for spurts, but it was the last basket of the game that proved the most crucial.

Douglas’ Theo Densen knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner as time expired in double overtime to give his Tigers a 78-77 semifinal win over Hug in the Northern 4A Regional boys basketball tournament.

“I thought the whole game was a game of runs,” Douglas coach Corey Thacker said. “It was never just 4-4. It seemed like it was always 8-2, 10-2 or 12-2. I have never been part of a game like that. We didn’t play our best and I don’t think Hug played its best either, but both teams battled.”

Densen’s game-winning shot came just seconds after Hug’s Andrew Johnson penetrated and got a runner in the lane to fall, which gave the Hawks a 77-75 lead.

Thacker called timeout as Johnson’s bucket fell through the twine. The Tigers' coach drew up a play where point guard Chris Downs caught the ball on the run, took two drills and looked to find one of two shooters crossing on the baseline or a post in the key.

With 3.5 seconds left on the game clock coming out of the timeout, Douglas ran the play to perfection. Densen got the open look in the corner and shot down the Hawks with his clutch trey.

“They just crossed on the bottom. I told Chris he had two dribbles and a pass. We were taking anything we could get and Chris made a great read,” Thacker said.

Douglas led 75-73 after Jorey Scott got a putback midway through the second overtime. Two Johnson free throws tied the game at 75-75 and then the Hawks junior point guard made his acrobatic driving runner that pushed the North Reno school ahead 77-75 and set up the game-ending drama.

Hug led 71-67 after a Sam Williams layup with 1:48 remaining in the first overtime. Douglas got a Hunter Myers layup on its next possession to get within two, 71-69. The Minden school nearly killed itself. The Tigers turned the ball over on their next three possessions, any of which could have given them a tie.

Douglas (23-4) caught a break when it finally did a get chance to tie the game. Hug missed the front end of a bonus free-throw shooting situation and fouled Douglas on the rebound try.

That put the Tigers on the foul line and Matt Thomas drained both his tries from the charity stripe with 18.2 seconds showing on the first overtime clock. That tied the game at 71-71 and left the Northern Nevada rivals needing double overtime to settle their score.

Douglas led 63-59 with a 1:01 left in regulation after a Myers layup. Johnson wouldn’t let Hug go down easily. He made a scoop shot with 44 seconds and a layup with 17 seconds to go, knotting the game at 63-63.

Hug was seemingly in control, clinging to a 55-48 advantage midway through the final period. Douglas proceeded to go on a 13-2 run that left it ahead 61-57, following a Myers 3-point play at the 1:45 mark of the fourth quarter.

Myers finished with a team-high 22 points for Douglas while his teammate Austin Neddenriep also had a big night, finishing with 21 points. Denson added 13 to the Tigers’ winning cause.

Johnson led all scorers, throwing in 28 for Hug. Williams added 19 for the Hawks.

“Andrew Johnson had a great night,” Thacker said. “We had a hard time staying in front of him, even on that last shot he got.”

Douglas will now meet Sierra League rival Manogue in the regional final. Tip time is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Carson High Saturday.

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