BY BEAU WICKER SPORTS EDITOR
---- — Quentin Douglass enjoyed an outstanding four-year career on the hardwood for the Caston Comets.
The 6-foot guard finished his career with 1,219 points, good enough for fourth all-time in school history. Only Eric Walsh (1,437), Luke Zartman (1,317) and Brent Kelley (1,292) scored more. Blake Harness (1,125) is now fifth.
Douglass averaged 16.5 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.6 assists and 2.4 steals per year his senior campaign.
The Comets won Midwest Conference titles in Douglass’ first two seasons. They went 14-10, 16-6, 15-7 and 12-10 during his four years.
The Comets have enjoyed a good run of talent as Alex Herd and Trevor Hoover won back-to-back Midwest Conference Player of the Year honors in Douglass’ first two seasons and Jake Howdeshell was one of the top long-range shooters in the state last season.
“I had a lot of fun and played with a lot of great guys,” Douglass said. “This year was great too. I regret not winning a sectional, but looking back it was a lot of fun. I’m definitely going to miss it.”
Douglass never really had a chance to play with any teammates above about 6-foot tall. He just missed playing with 6-5 Wes Rigney, who is now sixth all-time at Caston with 1,088 points.
The Comets went 11-2 at home this year but unfortunately for them one of the losses was in sectional play to Tri-County, 53-42. The Comets led that game 29-25 after three quarters and it was tied 37-37 with just under four minutes to go.
“It definitely was really tough. It was a great game all throughout,” Douglass said. “It was really tough to walk off the court for the last time. We played well; they hit more shots than we did at the end.”
Douglass scored 20 points in the contest but it was not enough. The Cavaliers’ 1-3-1 zone gave the Comets problems down the stretch.
“For whatever reason we had silly turnovers and mental mistakes,” Douglass said. “We had seen a trap probably 10 times this year and we didn’t have much of an issue, but for whatever reason we had some turnovers and quick shots and didn’t handle it well in that game.
“They have the [Zack] Patton kid who ended up being the conference player of the year. He’s a good player and had some good games against us. The kid who really hurt us was [Kyle] Miller. I don’t think he hit a 3 in the other sectional games but he hit six in both games against us. When a kid does that it’s tough.”
The game provided quite an atmosphere for Douglass’ final game.
“We knew we would have a great crowd. The gym was all the way full,” he said. “I only had a couple games in my career where the gym was like that. It was special to go out like that. The whole community supported us.”
North White knocked off Tri-County 56-37 in the sectional championship game. The Vikings won their first sectional title in 30 years and defeated Culver in overtime in a regional game.
“A couple of them are my best friends. They still give me a hard time about winning on my court,” Douglass said. “But it was really cool they got to have a tournament run and I’m happy for them.”
The Vikings were one of the Comets’ home victims in regular-season play, 46-43, on Feb. 15.
“We ran the Valpo play at the end and Dustin [Offenberger] hit that shot,” Douglass recalled. “With four minutes to play we were down 10 and we got that win at the end. That was a great game too.”
The Comets were 11-2 at home, 1-1 on a neutral court and 0-8 on the road this season under first-year coach J.R. Howell.
“It was a good season. We had a tough time on the road all season. We had a new system we struggled with early,” Douglass said. “We got to our holiday tournament and beat a couple of bigger schools. We played Lowell which was a buzzsaw but we figured some things out. We won quite a few in a row and overall had a great year.”
Douglass added he enjoyed playing for Howell.
“I loved coach Howell coming in and coaching us. He’s a great guy. I could talk about anything with him,” he said. “It was great having him this year. He changed our offense and defense and I had a tough time adjusting at first. I wish I had one more year and see what I could do. He’ll have a great coaching career.”
Douglass said he had a couple of D-III offers to play basketball but will instead attend Purdue for academics.
The following is a question-and-answer session with Douglass.
Q. Of the sports you play, which is your favorite? Why?
A. Basketball, because I have been playing it my whole life and have made so many friends over the years because of it.
Q. How did you first get started in sports? At what age?
A. When I was 4 my parents signed me up for T-ball at Twelve Mile and basketball at the YMCA.
Q. Do you have any family members who played sports?
A. Both of my grandpas played basketball at Grass Creek and Richland Center. My dad played football, wrestled and golfed at Caston. My mom played basketball at Caston. My sister played volleyball. My little brother played football and basketball with me.
Q. How do you feel you’ve improved as an athlete since you first started playing?
A. Coach Ulerick opens the weight room at 7 a.m. every day so lifting and doing workouts has helped me a lot.
Q. Who do you consider your biggest role model? Why?
A. My dad. We don’t always see eye to eye but he’s a great person. He pushes me to be the best I can be. I can’t ever imagine not having him in my life.
Q. What is something that not everyone knows about you?
A. I literally ran into Taylor Swift at a Notre Dame football game one time. It was awesome!
Q. What is your favorite memory of playing sports at your school?
A. My sophomore year we played Pioneer at home in a standing room-only gym and won. It was a crazy atmosphere and something I’ll never forget.
Q. What are your goals for your future? Do you plan on attending college?
A. I plan on attending Purdue University and major in sales and management. I want to be a high school basketball coach some day also.
Each week during the school year the Pharos-Tribune recognizes an athlete from one of five area high schools. The recipients are selected by each school’s athletic department.