By Tommy Keeler Jr.
STRASBURG -- It took a little while for Strasburg's Tyler Doman to get used to moving to the point guard spot, but now that he has the Rams are benefiting greatly.
Doman had never played the point guard spot before, so when Strasburg boys basketball coach Matt Hiserman told him in the fall he would have to make the move from the wing position. Doman said he began working on his game.
"I wasn't used to handling the ball much last year," Doman said. "I didn't really like doing it. But I worked on it a lot and when coach told me I was going to have to play point guard, I worked on it a lot and I don't mind it now. Actually I like it, kind of being in charge."
Doman has helped lead the Rams (11-7, 7-5 Bull Run) to a successful season so far, and has certainly given them a lift offensively as well.
Last week, Doman scored in double figures in all three of Strasburg's games, which included two wins.
His play last week earned him The Northern Virginia Daily's Male Athlete of the Week for the week of Jan. 19-25.
The highlight of the week for Doman came against Shenandoah County rival Central. The 6-foot-1 senior hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 23 points in a 67-45 victory over the Falcons. He scored eight points in the opening period, and 12 more in the third.
"That was huge, I think," Doman said of his five 3-pointers. "It got the crowd into it -- big shots like that really get the crowd into it. Getting the crowd into a big rivalry game like that really gets the whole team pumped up and gets everybody going."
Just weeks before Doman was struggling a little with his shot, but he said he kept working at it, and his found his form again in the last two or three weeks.
Hiserman said he and his staff noticed that Doman was finishing his shot on his heels instead of his toes, and helped make an adjustment, which helped.
"He's never been a bad shooter, but every shooter goes through a little bit of struggles every once in a while," Hiserman said. "Then when you're doing that it's a confidence issue, but it's also something little that is throwing it off, so you just got to search and wait, and hope to find that right spot, and we were lucky enough between our staff and Tyler to find that little spot where it was going wrong. And been lucky enough that it's been fixed here over the last couple weeks."
Doman has had at least two 3-pointers in five of Strasburg's last seven games. Doman is averaging a team-best 12.1 points per game, but is also averaging 3.1 rebounds, 1.3 assists and 1.9 steals per game.
In a 46-32 loss to Warren County last week, Doman scored 11 of Strasburg's 13 first-half points. He followed that up on Saturday with 10 points in a 42-34 win over Madison County.
In the victory over the Mountaineers, Doman showed his versatility. He finished with seven rebounds, four steals and had three blocks.
"I like getting steals and blocking shots and things like that -- it pumps you up, pumps the whole team up," Doman said. "It's just a good feeling to have. It's just like hitting a big shot. It just makes you feel good. It gets you pumped up."
Doman has played a vital role in getting his teammates pumped up all season as one of the main leaders on the team.
"Obviously being a senior, it's my last year out here, I want to make it the best one I've had," Doman said. "So before games if we're not focused I'm going to tell them to get focused. I feel like I've stepped up as a leader, I know coach has said it to me, too. I feel like I've led the team pretty well this year, along with the other seniors we have. I'm pretty proud of what I've done so far."
The Rams are currently in fourth place in the Bull Run District at 7-5, but more importantly they are a game behind George Mason in both the district and conference standings. The Rams host Manassas Park tonight and then play at George Mason on Friday. A win over the Mustangs could put Strasburg in position to get one of the top seeds and an automatic Region 2A East berth.
A key for Strasburg this season has been its defense. The Rams haven't allowed an opponent to score more than 50 points in their last seven games.
"We've playing well defensively, obviously," Doman said. "We've stayed in a lot of games, because our offense has been off lately. Defense has really kept us in some games, it's won us some games. It won us the Madison game. I think our offense will come. It will start clicking soon.
"If we just keep playing the same defensively, we'll be good to go."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or email@example.com Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd