Reno dethrones Douglas girls |

Reno dethrones Douglas girls

Darrell Moody, Tribune News Service

CARSON — When Brittany Puzey drained a high-arching three-pointer with seven seconds to play in the first overtime, it looked like Douglas High’s girls’ basketball team had worked some more of its late-game magic.

Reno, and its feisty point guard Kaylan King, had other ideas.

King sent the game into a second overtime with a free throw with no time left to tie the game at 37, and then hit two clutch free throws for the eventual game-winning points to lead the Huskies to a 50-44 win over the defending zone champs before a packed house at Morse Burley Gymnasium Saturday night in the 4A zone finals.

“I have so much respect for Douglas,” Reno coach Craig Campbell said. “We’ve got three great teams from Northern Nevada going to state, and I hope we represent the area well.”

Douglas coach Werner Christen believes his team will bounce back from the heartbreaking loss, and be ready for Wednesday’s state opener.

“This is a pretty resilient group,” he said. “Come Monday, they’ll be looking forward to Wednesday’s game. Win or lose, they always stay on a pretty even keel. We’re going to try and get better in the next two days.”

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No doubt hearts were pounding after Puzey gave the Tigers a 37-36 lead with seven seconds left with her three-pointer off an inbounds play.

“No, no, I knew it wasn’t over,” Christen said. “The coaches (assistants Andy Hughes and Aubrey McCreary) drew that play up. It’s something we work on in practice.”

And, Puzey, who finished with nine points, made it look oh so easy.

“My heart sank when Brittany hit that three,” said Campbell, who immediately called a timeout once his team inbounded. “We were just trying to get to the rim. We were fortunate to get fouled. It looked like there was some indecision on their part. Julie (Gingrich) got caught in no man’s land.”

King easily knocked down the first toss, and caught too much iron on the second.

“I thought the first one was going to be short, and the second one looked good,” Christen said.

The game was tied at 39 and 41 in the second overtime, and Douglas caught another tough break, when Gingrich was called for stepping over the line on her first free-throw attempt. She missed the second, leaving the game deadlocked with 2:20 to go. The call had Christen steamed.

“Julie didn’t step on the line,” Christen said. “I was right there.”

Jessica Stewart hit from the baseline to make it 42-41, and following a Douglas turnover, King knocked down two foul shots for a 44-41 lead. Following another Douglas turnover, Natalie Challis was fouled and hit both foul shots for a 46-41 lead with 26 seconds left. Michelle Paterson gave Douglas hope when she connected for a three point play to slice the lead to 46-44 with 12 ticks left.

Forced to foul, Elizabeth Fox made it 48-44 with two free throws, and Corey Nelson closed out the scoring with two more foul shots with two seconds left.

Douglas started strong offensively, scoring the game’s first nine points thanks to buckets by Emily Haas, Puzey and Gingrich plus a three-pointer by Tammy Gough.

However, the Tigers faded badly from that point, sinking only five more field goals the rest of regulation. After a 5-for-9 start, Douglas was an ice-cold 5 for 25 from the field the final three quarters.

Part of the problem was that Brinkmeyer got in early foul trouble, and didn’t score in the first half. She was only on the floor long enough to put up two shots.

The only saving grace is that the Huskies couldn’t buy a bucket, either, leaving the teams tied at 22 after 16 minutes. Reno was 3 for 25 in the first half, and 12 for 38 during regulation.

“They sort of got us helter-skelter,” Christen said. “They did some good things defensively, but I thought when we needed to make a stop we did.”

The game went back and forth the entire second half.

Reno had a 28-24, which turned out to be the biggest lead in regulation play. That’s also when Haas fouled out after eight points and 13 rebounds. A 6-2 surge by Douglas tied the game at 30, and after three it was 32-all.


The Greenwave, led by Tristin Adams and Carly Sorenson, sent the Colts packing in the third-place game.

Sorenson scored 11 of her 13 in the second half when Fallon outscored Wooster 35-28. Adams scored six of her team-high 15 in that span.

Brianne McGowan closed out a sensational prep basketball career with 24 points, including 16 in the second half. For the second straight game, she got little or no offensive help from her teammates.