Millard West coach Marc Kruger didn’t need to work too hard to fire up his team for its game against Omaha Northwest.
Just watching film of the Huskies’ previous game — the one in which Ale’jah Douglas scored a Class A record 51 points — did the trick.
The Wildcats responded to the challenge Tuesday night by posting a 51-43 home win. A big key to victory was holding Douglas, who averages a state-leading 26.7 points, to 17.
“We’ll take that,’’ Kruger said. “We played a 3-2 zone and basically built a wall so that she wasn’t able to get in the paint.’’
Douglas had hit several layups and also gone 16 for 18 from the foul line in an 85-83 win over Omaha Burke last Thursday night. But against Millard West, the 5-foot-5 senior guard was 6 for 16 from the field and 2 for 6 from the line.
Kruger said he made sure his squad watched film of Douglas’ record-setting performance before it started practicing for the Huskies.
“I wanted the team to see what we were up against,’’ he said. “But we weren’t going to let one person do that to us.’’
Millard West, which led 28-25 at halftime, saw the Huskies tie the game early in the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Douglas. But a 3-pointer by Honnah Leo gave the Wildcats a lead they wouldn’t surrender the rest of the game.
Leo, a 5-10 forward, finished with a game-high 21 points despite missing much of the second quarter after being fouled on a drive to the basket.
“She can score inside or outside,’’ Kruger said. “She presents a pretty tough matchup for a lot of teams.’’
The Huskies got within two early in the fourth quarter, but Millard West quickly boosted its advantage to eight and then held on in the closing minutes.
“We’re a pretty senior-heavy team,’’ Kruger said. “That experience is really big for us late in games.’’
Douglas found it difficult just to get shots off in the first half. She was 2 for 3 from the field, both 3-pointers.
“If she was going to hit that step-back 3, we were going to have to live with it,’’ Kruger said. “We just didn’t want her driving the lane and going to the line all night.’’
Northwest trailed 14-10 after the first quarter but took a short-lived 19-17 lead in the second quarter on a jumper by Brooklyn Busby. Senior guard Kennedy Darner sank three 3-pointers shortly after as Millard West reopened a seven-point advantage.
Darner finished with 16 points while Jenna Bohaty led the Wildcats with 14 rebounds.
Sophomore center Taniya Golden, sidelined the past month because of concussion protocol, had 12 points and six rebounds for the Huskies.
“We’ve been really solid on the defensive end,’’ Kruger said. “But I still feel as though we haven’t put four total quarters together yet.’’
Millard West returns to action Thursday at Omaha Marian.
Northwest will play Friday at Omaha Bryan.
Omaha Northwest (9-5) … 10 15 11 7 – 43
Millard West (8-4) … 14 14 12 11 – 51
NW: Taniya Golden 12, JayVeonna Williams 1, Ale’jah Douglas 17, Ravyne Wallace 7, Brooklyn Busby 6.
MW: Libby Hoffman 1, Kennedy Darner 16, Reese Peterson 1, Laney Schipper 3, Gabby Felker 3, Honnah Leo 21, Jenna Bohaty 6.