Reed pulled away in the fourth quarter to capture a 78-55 win over Bishop Manogue in a Northern 4A tournament semifinal at Damonte Ranch High School Friday night.
The victory keeps Reed's record perfect on the season and gives the Raiders (25-0) a berth in today's regional championship game against Galena. That postseason affair tips off at 4 p.m. at Carson High and has a lot on the line. The winner will get the North's lone invitation to next week's state tournament in Las Vegas.
Friday's contest proved to be the Gabby Williams and Kelly Lujan Show. Williams poured in a season-high 30 points to lead Reed while Lujan hung 25 points to pace Bishop Manogue (19-5). Fortunately for Williams, she got a little more offensive production from her supporting cast and Reed ran away for the triumph.
Williams did her damage by dropping in nine buckets and converting 12 of 14 free throws.
"She can jump. She gets tips. She's quick," Reed coach Sara Schopper said of her freshman sensation, Williams. "We go at her tempo and usually good things happen for us."
Lujan, on the other hand, did not have even a single free-throw attempt, but she dropped five 3-point bombs while trying to keep the Miners in contention.
"She didn't do much against us the first time we played," Schopper said, alluding to Lujan's performance in Reed's 77-47 win over Manogue last month. "But she had a really good game tonight. She shot it great."
Manogue trailed 60-43 entering the fourth quarter, but opened the final period on a 10-2 run, which was capped by Lujan's final trey of the night. The burst helped Manogue trim Reed's advantage to nine, 62-53, with 4:06 still to go in the game.
That's as good as it got for the Miners. Reed wrapped up the postseason affair with a 16-2 run. The final 23-point margin was the widest gap of the night.
"We got it to nine there and I felt like I had to go to man and then they pushed it to 20," Miners coach Craig Holt said. "And I kind of knew that would happen. But I felt I had to do it or they'd just run the clock out on us."
Reed ran out to a 9-2 lead four minutes into the game only to see Manogue respond and get back to within one, 12-11, following a Katie Gray baseline jumper with 1:30 showing on the first-quarter clock.
Reed proceeded to score the last eight points of the period and led 20-11 after the first eight minutes.
Bishop Manogue had plenty of fight left. The Raiders forged ahead 23-13 after a Williams jumper a minute into the second quarter, but Manogue answered with a 13-2 spurt that gave it a 26-25 edge. Amy Yeager concluded the run for the private Catholic school when she drained a 3-pointer at the 4:05 mark of the second quarter.
"I expect people to push us," Schopper said. "They had to. They're a good team and this is the playoffs.
"We didn't have a 20-30 point lead like we usually do. But that's good. We can't let down. It's good for us to play closer games. I want our kids to feel like its always a two-point game. I want them to play hard every possession."
Reed really got going from there. The Raiders outscored the Miners 17-5 through the remainder of the first half and took a 42-31 lead into the locker room at the intermission.
Reed kept pushing. The Raiders put together a 17-6 string of points to open the second half. Williams made a nifty runner through traffic in the lane to end the run that left Reed ahead 56-37, itßs largest lead to that point.
Sierra Hooft threw in 15 points and Nyasha LeSure contributed 12 to Reed's winning cause.
Yeager finished with 11 and Gray 10 for Manogue.
"We turned the ball over too much," Holt said. "I felt we had to keep our turnovers under 16 and I know we didn't do that. We tried to keep it close and give ourselves a chance, but the better team won. They are good. They are the best team in our (Northern) league."