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Derrck Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Senior guard Ricky Clark has been one of the Douglas County leading scorers this season.

A look at the Douglas County stats will tell the story why the Tigers have won their last four games.

The Tigers have increased their scoring while limiting its opponents during its current win streak going into Tuesday’s home region game against Mays.

Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Tigers have had some impressive wins during that streak. It started with a win at Alexander and on Saturday, the Tigers defeated New Manchester.

Sandwiched in between those wins was a victory over Westlake in a non-region contest.

“We have been playing together as a team,” junior guard Malik Battle said. “Our defense has picked up and we have been locking opponents down. I think the win over Westlake was really huge. They have sort of had our number the last couple years.”

During the streak, the Tigers have averaged 88.5 points per game while they have averaged 73.7 points overall. On the defensive end, Douglas County has been holding its opponents to 71 points.

“Our defense is definitely starting to pick up,” Douglas County coach Hollis Bethea said. “I think overall, we are standing to understand what we are trying to do on defense.”

Another aspect has been that the Tigers are finally healthy and have just about its entire squad together.

Last season part-time starter Braelen Oliver has re-joined the team after considering not playing his senior year. He has been coming off the bench the last two games to give the team some quality minutes in the paint.

Next month, junior post player Mataio Soli is expected to join the team. Soli has been nursing a leg injury sustained in the first-round of the state football playoffs.

“We have a full squad together finally,” Bethea said. “We are working everybody into shape.”

Offensively, the team has been sharing the ball and creating match-up problems for the opposition.

Just about every starter has upped their average drink the win streak.

Battle has been averaging 16 points and has scored in double figures in all four games.

The biggest jump in scoring has come from senior Cam Copeland. The guard/forward has gone from a 14.3 scoring average overall to scoring at 18.5 points per game during the win streak. He has scored in double figures during all four wins.

Copeland is coming off the bench for the Tigers.

“We have been preaching about sharing the ball,” Bethea said. “It has been a big emphasis on looking for your teammate. Everybody has been selfless.”

But for the Tigers, it all starts on the defensive end.

“Our intensity has really picked up,” senior point guard Rodney Lewis said. “We are coming out strong on both ends of the floor.”

With two months left in the regular season, Hollis doesn’t think the team is peaking.

“We still have a lot of things we need to work on,” he said. “There is still a lot of basketball left in the season. There are some goals for each game we still have to meet. I’m looking for more improvement on defense.”

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