Omaha Northwest’s Ale’jah Douglas

Omaha Northwest’s Ale’jah Douglas tied a Metro Conference record earlier this month when she scored 43 points against Millard South.

Though it might not be easy, Ale’jah Douglas is ready to move on from her 43-point performance.

She’s more interested in the big picture, which is helping Omaha Northwest get back to the state tournament.

“That was a really good game,” Douglas said. “But I know there’s more that I want to accomplish.”

Douglas, a 5-foot-4 junior guard, poured in a school-record 43 in a Dec. 1 game against Millard South. It was a shocker for someone who averaged 10 points last season.

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“I worked hard every day getting ready for this season,” she said. “I scored 37 in a scrimmage game so I knew I was capable of having a pretty good game.”

That game was more than pretty good. Douglas was 13 of 20 from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, and sank all 13 free-throw attempts.

Her 43 points tied a Metro Conference record set by Omaha North’s Leah Turner in 1992.

“I didn’t know the number until the game was over,” she said. “It was a close game and we were all just thinking about winning.”

Despite Douglas’ effort, the Huskies lost 72-71 to top-ranked Millard South. Northwest will get a rematch at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the Patriots’ home court.

“We’re looking forward to playing them again,” she said. “To get that close and lose was tough.”

Northwest coach Genese Hodges said Douglas is fulfilling the potential that’s the byproduct of her hard work.

“We’ll practice for two hours and then she’ll go back in the gym for another two hours,” the coach said. “She’s really driven to help our team accomplish its goals this season.”

As a freshman, Douglas was on the Huskies’ team that reached state for the first time in 37 years. Northwest fell short of the tourney last year, losing to eventual state champion Omaha Westside in a district final.

“Going to state was so special,” Douglas said. “After not getting there last year, most definitely that’s something driving us this year.”

Douglas is off to a great start. After scoring 37 in a Jamboree exhibition game against Lincoln High, she scored 26 in a season-opening win over Omaha Benson. Then came the 43-point game, which drew immediate reactions at school.

“It was neat that everybody seemed to know about it,” Douglas said. “I think they were kind of shocked.”

She was held to 13 in the unranked Huskies’ next game, a 75-72 win at Class A No. 9 Papillion-La Vista. Teammate Caliana Fenceroy picked up the scoring slack, finishing with 26.

“I was really proud of the team after that one,” Hodges said. “Our top three scorers fouled out but we still found a way to get it done.”

Douglas, who scored 23 Tuesday night in a win over Bellevue East, said it’s fun to play for the free-wheeling Huskies. The team is 3-1 and averaging 71 points a game.

“We love to play that fast pace,” she said. “We want to keep the pressure on as much as we can.”

Douglas added that the Huskies’ team-first attitude will be a major factor this season.

“Everybody gets along,” she said. “We’ve got a good team and we want to get everyone involved.”

Hodges agreed.

“We’re a family,” she said. “Ale’jah knows nobody can do this alone, so it’s great to see us play so well as a team.”

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Mike covers high school sports, primarily volleyball in the fall, girls basketball in the winter and baseball in the spring and summer. He also reports on horse racing for The World-Herald. Follow him on Twitter @MPattersonOWH. Phone: 402-444-1350.

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