When Douglas and Hug get together they just seem to bring out the best in the other and deliver a tight, well-played and entertaining game.
The latest installment, Friday night's 51-49 Tigers victory at Douglas, fell right in line with those other recent meetings. Douglas' Hunter Myers delivered 23 points -- the final two with 1 minute, 40 seconds to play provided the difference -- to outduel Sam Williams and his 22-point effort.
Myers called it "just another league win," but aside from the hour delay in tipoff, as Hug's bus navigated the weather and traffic from Reno, it had nearly every other element of a playoff game in mid-January.
"I say it's another league game but every game is important to me," Myers said. "I love the environment. I can't get enough of that. It was good for us because we have a young team and it's good to get them adjusted to this environment. I love that crowd. I can't get enough of them."
Williams had a chance to win it for Hug (13-5, 6-2 High Desert) but his open 3-pointer after the defender went under a screen was just long with 2 seconds left.
"That's a 50-50 ball. He's either going to make it or miss it," Hug coach Keith Crawford said. "Unfortunately, he missed it.
"It was just another league game but clearly you could tell it was more than that. Boy, that's a tough loss; a tough league loss."
Each team made a sizeable first-half run. Hug closed the first quarter on a 12-1 spurt and Douglas scored just one point in a seven-minute stretch between quarters.
But the Tigers (10-7, 6-1 Sierra) then finished the first half on a 16-1 run and trailed 27-22 at halftime.
"We kept our composure," Myers said. "That was the thing. It was a team win. I couldn't have done it without them and they couldn't have done it without me."
Douglas outscored Hug 16-6 in the third period to take a five-point lead into the fourth and held on for the win.
"We had a meltdown in the third quarter," Crawford said. "... I don't think it came down to a last-second shot for us. It came down to three or four possessions with three minutes left in the game that hurt us tonight. The last play didn't define that game.
"The plays leading up to that, especially the third quarter, defined that game. Being outscored 16-6 in the third quarter, I don't see anybody at any level winning a ballgame when that happens."
The two teams met in the playoffs each of the last two seasons, and if they play again this year, it will be in the postseason.