The Richland Bombers got some bad news when they learned that sophomore forward Calvin Douglas will have to sit out this weekend’s games against Eastmont and Kamiakin with a bum left ankle.
But that news could get even worse next week when test results determine the severity of Douglas’ injury, which he suffered during a 70-67 win over Hermiston on Saturday.
Douglas has been one of the league’s top inside threats, averaging 14 points and 10.6 rebounds through the first eight games. But the 6-foot-6 forward’s availability is now in question for the next few weeks, and possibly the remainder of the season.
Douglas said he has been icing the ankle since Saturday and feels pain when he pushes off his left foot. He said that a fracture could keep him out as long as six weeks.
“We don’t have the full story yet,” said Richland coach Earl Streufert after Douglas visited a doctor Thursday. “Until doctors get done evaluating (the ankle) we won’t know what course of action he needs to take. It might mean taking a week off, it might mean taking a month off or it might mean the whole season.”
While Douglas is out of the lineup, the Bombers will look to senior forward Clint Smith and junior forward Hayden Hilty to fill the void. Smith leads the team in scoring at 14.9 points a game, while Hilty has provided valuable support off the bench.
“You don’t replace Calvin with one guy,” Streufert said. “It’s sure to be a group effort. Hayden filled in well for him (Saturday) at Hermiston.”
-- The CBBN’s top matchup this weekend features Walla Walla (7-2, 1-0 Cascade Division) playing host to Eisenhower (9-0, 1-0) at 7:30 p.m. today, two teams that will likely battle for division supremacy along with West Valley (8-1, 2-0). The Cadets have four players averaging in double figures, but their top threat has been 6-5 guard Taylor Elmo (17.9 ppg) who has proven an effective scorer both inside and out.
“I watched a few other teams (defend) him, and there hasn’t been a lot of success stopping him,” said Blue Devils coach John Golden, whose team has won seven of eight after a season-opening loss at Pasco. “He’s so strong and athletic, and he can shoot from outside.”
Wa-Hi will bring one of the CBBN’s top scoring duos in guard Gary Winston and forward Michael Weisner, who combine for more than 30 points a game.
“Those two have worked extremely hard on their games,” Golden said. “They understand it’s not just about them. It takes all 12 of us to do what we want to do.
“(Today) we’re just going to have to take care of the ball. We’re not going to stop Taylor from scoring.”
-- The spotlight matchup outside the CBBN belongs to the Southeast 2B, where Dayton (5-1, 3-0 South) visits Liberty Christian (6-1, 3-0) in Richland tonight.
The Patriots’ are led by Mark Wilson, who has exploded for 20.3 points a game to lead Southeast scorers. The Bulldogs counter with Miles Lytle, who dropped 36 points on Walla Walla Valley Academy in a win Tuesday.