Douglas County hosted a boys basketball playoff game for the first time in 1o seasons on Feb. 21. Coach Earl Boykins' Huskies made a point to emphasize the improvement of the program with a 61-44 …
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Douglas County hosted a boys basketball playoff game for the first time in 1o seasons on Feb. 21.
Coach Earl Boykins' Huskies made a point to emphasize the improvement of the program with a 61-44 victory over Rocky Mountain in a Class 5A first-round playoff game.
The last time a Douglas County team was at home for a playoff game was Feb. 22, 2007 and the Huskies recorded an 81-45 win over Kennedy.
“I definitely feel the program is heading in the right direction,” said Boykins. “The boys that are coming in now are playing with confidence and they expect to win. When I first got here, we really didn't have that type of confidence at all. Now when the guys step on the floor they expect to be part of this and win basketball games.”
Boykins, the 5-foot-5 guard who played 13 years in the National Basketball Association including four seasons with the Denver Nuggets, is in his fourth season as head coach at Douglas County.
He took over a program that had gone 29-113 over the previous six seasons and averaged 4.8 wins a campaign. After the win over Rocky Mountain, this year's team was 15-9 heading into a second-round playoff game at Regis Jesuit on Feb. 24.
The Huskies have averaged 9.5 wins in Boykins' four seasons and the 2017-18 campaign marks the first winning season for a Huskies boys basketball team since the 2007-08 team compiled a 16-9 mark.
“It took a while to get to this moment but I'm glad, especially for this senior class,” said Boykins. “They were the first class when I first got here, and to see these guys now go out and win the first home playoff game says something.”
There were six seniors and six juniors on the playoff roster for the Rocky Mountain game.
“We always have one goal with this team and that's to win,” said 6-foot-5 senior Tre Teague. “This team has worked way, way, way better together than we did last year. We've just come together as a family and play as a team. We have a lot more players that are way more confident. We've improved tremendously.”
Douglas County expanded a five-point halftime lead to 16 points after the third quarter against Rocky Mountain and coasted to the win.
Boykins kept rotating players in and out of the lineup and used all 12 of his players.
“Our defense was very good against Rocky Mountain,” said Boykins. “The amount of players that we played really wore them out in the first half and second half. We played 10 or 11 guys every night and when we play teams that don't have the bench it eventually wears them down.
“It keeps the guys ready to play because every night they know they are going to get the opportunity to play in the game. When I first came here that's what I talked about. Everybody who plays varsity basketball is going to play.”
Cam'ron Dunfee, a 6-2 senior, led the way for the Huskies against the Lobos with 17 points. Junior Quincy Burland added 10 points
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