No. 3 David Douglas (12-1) was the last remaining undefeated 6A team in Oregon coming into Tuesday night’s showdown with No. 2 Central Catholic (11-2).
Many high school hoops fans wondered how David Douglas would fare. Central Catholic is a proven state contender. A Scots victory would certainly make a resounding statement that would echo throughout the state. While no team will admit to moral wins in losses, the Scots could prove a lot to people by showing they can compete with the Rams. They did exactly that.
The Scots fell behind early, but mounted a furious comeback in the third quarter to trail the Rams by just one point. However, Central Catholic outscored David Douglas 24-12 in the fourth quarter to close out their 27th consecutive Mt. Hood Conference win.
Now that the Scots have had a taste of the best competition in the state, the process of taking that next step to beating a top team begins. They’ll be battle-tested, considering they are in possibly the toughest league in the state with five formidable opponents on the schedule. David Douglas’ next two games are against Reynolds, who only loss to Central Catholic by four, and Oregon City, who is 3-0 in Mt. Hood Conference play.
Responding and picking up those two crucial league victories would speak volume to the Scots’ talent and will. If David Douglas struggles in those games, it could mean the beginning of a season spiraling away from them.
The Scots have ten seniors on the roster. Head coach Chad Reeves believes the hunger to go out on on top will drive his team to respond positively after their first loss, so that the outcome will be different when a rematch comes against the Rams in February.
Reeves after the loss to Central Catholic:
What did your team learn from the loss?
“I think we settled early for a lot of jump shots. When they pressured us, instead of being patient and executing it, and getting it inside, we jacked up a few early threes. I think we were just so excited early, we were playing too much with our hands. So, we got to the one-and-one and a couple guys in foul trouble early. That was rough. Hopefully we’ll come in with a little better plan defensively.”
Did your team play too fast at times tonight?
“I thought we weren’t able to play as fast because we weren’t rebounding very well. I think our rotations were a little slow. So, when we’d get there, we’d rotate a big over to help, and then we had a hard time keeping them off the boards. Then, when we did have some chances in the open court, we did look like we were pressing a little bit.”
What allowed your team to make the run early in the third quarter to just trail by one?
“I think we were able to pressure ball handlers a little bit. Defensively, we got up the line on rotations better. We got some deflections on that run. I think we played a little more aggressively without our hands.”
What allowed the Rams to pull away in the fourth quarter?
“Same thing. There was a couple fouls where we put them to the line, and to their credit they were knocking shots in. We just had poor execution during a couple of those shots. Then, we did have a good look at three that didn’t go in. At that point, a lot of things had to go right.”
Did Central Catholic do anything different to take Charles out of the game in the fourth quarter? He had 18 points in the first three quarters but just two in the fourth.
“I don’t know if it was as much that as we were trying to get up and press so much. They got some easy hoops. They did a nice job. They did a really good job with Charles, and with everyone really. They always play well. I thought they did a good job of taking away the basket when we did have open shots. We just need to shoot it a little better.”
How tough is it to defend against them when they have so many guys that can score?
“Yeah, they do have a lot of weapons. For us, just being able to contain guys was a challenge early and it got us in some foul trouble. I thought they shot it, especially from the foul line, real well.”
How do you feel the team will respond after losing their first game?
“We talked a lot about that. I think they will come out a better team after this. Obviously it’s not a fun way to learn, but sometimes it’s the most effective way. I think it’s a resilient group that’s senior oriented. They’ll show up to practice ready to go. In our league, you’ve got to be ready every night. There’s not just one team.”
What have you learned about your team so far this season?
“It’s a fun team. They’re real competitive. So obviously, they took tonight rough. They’re young kids and they’ll bounce back. There’s good leadership on this team. I fully expect them to be ready to go tomorrow. They’ve grown up a lot. We had a lot of these kids last year. Just to see their maturity level has been a lot of fun. It’s been pretty humbling to see these kids turn into adults this fast. It’s a lot of fun.”