LISBON — “Shooter!”

The uninitiated basketball fan can easily discern which players are the scorers on the floor merely from hearing this word shouted from the sidelines. Frequently, teams will identify who their opponent’s biggest scoring threat is by yelling “shooter” whenever they get the ball at the offensive end. It serves as a reminder to defenders to close out quickly on the shooter because leaving him or her with even a little bit of daylight to get a shot off is not the defense’s desired outcome of a possession.

Perhaps no player in the Mountain Valley Conference provokes opponents to yell “shooter” more than Lisbon senior guard DJ Douglass.

Lisbon’s D.J. Douglass (20) drives to the hoop as teammate Hunter Davis (5) looks on during a home game against Wiscasset this season. (Eric Maxim/The Times Record)

Douglass went into the season as the conference’s leading returning scorer (and fourth overall last season) after he averaged 20.2 points per game as a junior. He led the league in 3-pointers made with 63, 16 (nearly one per game) more than runner-up Mateo Lapointe of Dirigo and more than some teams made in the entire season.

Rest assured that opposing defenses made Douglass earn every one of those points because they could afford to devote the personnel and energy to make him work for them. Last year, the Greyhounds were young and not very confident in their other scoring options, so Douglass, who has been playing varsity basketball since he was a freshman, was usually the first, second and third option. If he had an off night, the Greyhounds were going to have a hard time scoring.

“I don’t think we have to worry about that problem this year,” Douglass said.


The hope coming into the 2019-20 season was that with a year of varsity seasoning, teammates such as fellow senior guard Corey Wiers and sophomore forward Ring Ring would be able to take some of the pressure to score off of Douglass.

So through five games, in which the Greyhounds posted a 3-2 record, does Douglass feel less pressure to score for the Greyhounds to be successful?

“I think so,” he said. “Corey’s been shooting well this year, so defenders will start to look for him more. And Ringo on the inside, he’s been playing excellent this year, too. If we have a lot of balance offensively, we have a really dangerous team.”

Lisbon coach Jake Gentle not only counts on other starters to take on more of the load but his bench as well. And it’s resulted not only in more balance but also an opportunity for Douglass to put his playmaking skills on display.

“A lot of his game gets overlooked,” Gentle said. “People look at him and say ‘Shooter, shooter, shooter,’ but he’s developed a lot of parts of his game.”

That includes his defense, where he used his quick hands to rank among the league leaders with three steals per game.


Gentle noted that Douglass also ranked fifth in the conference in assists last year (3.1 per game) and has plenty of experience running the point, going back to when he came off the bench as a freshman.

“He’s more than an outside threat for us,” Gentle said. “He sees the floor really well and his ability to pass the basketball is tremendous.”

Douglass has always known finding open teammates opens up more opportunities for him and other teammates to get open shots. Last year, that usually meant creating those opportunities based on how defenses reacted to him getting open shots. This year, it means working the ball inside-out, which the Greyhounds are still trying to do consistently.

“There will be times where we’ll shoot ourselves out of a game when we won’t be shooting well from three, and we just won’t get the ball in the paint,” Douglass said. “But then there are times when we’re working well in the paint and teams will start sagging off of the outside and then we get open looks,” Douglass said. “Our biggest goal is to work the inside just to open things up for the outside more.”

An all-conference soccer and baseball player, Douglass was a key contributor to last spring’s state title-winning baseball team. He’s hoping to cap his basketball career by making his first trip to the Portland Expo since his freshman year and advancing beyond the quarterfinals of the Class B South tournament.

Douglass also is within striking distance of becoming the third Greyhound to reach the 1,000-point milestone for his career, joining former teammate Jonah Sautter.

“It’s there,” Gentle said of the milestone, “but knowing him, I know he’s all about getting to the tournament and getting to the Expo.”

So, do the Greyhounds have a shot? Douglass thinks so.

“We have some tough games at home,” said Douglass, noting Winthrop, Spruce Mountain, Mt. Abram and Boothbay on the slate, “and if we can win those games, I think we have a really, really good shot to get to the Expo.”

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