Reed, ranked first in the state all year by Maxpreps.com looked outclassed by second-ranked Centennial and was handed an 84-57 trouncing in the tournament tilt at the Orleans Arena.
The two teams were tied at 4-4 two and a half minutes into the game but that’s as good as it got for Reed. Centennial reeled off a 10-0 run over the next four minutes and was never really threatened again.
Reed (26-1) got a driving layup from Gabby Williams with 1:12 to go in the first quarter that got the Raiders within six, 15-9, but they were never that close again. Centennial put up eight points in the last 34 seconds of the initial period and grabbed a 23-9 advantage after the first eight minutes.
“They pressed us and we broke it some but they also made us turn the ball over more than we’re used to,” Reed coach Sara Schopper said. “There was a lot of pushing and shoving, a lot of shirt-pulling, more than we’re used to. Centennial’s a good team. They’re going to get after it. Sometimes it depends on which way the whistle blows. It’s a different style of play in the North than in South.”
Centennial (31-1) extended its edge to 18, 31-13, on a Tamera Williams putback less than three minutes into the second quarter. Reed stopped the bleeding for awhile. A runner by Gabby Williams trimmed Centennial’s lead to 36-21 with 1:30 left before halftime, but the Bulldogs outscored the Raiders 7-2 into the half and took a 43-23 lead into the locker room at the break.
Rebounding killed Reed in the first half. The Raiders were out-rebounded 34-15 in the first two quarters. Within that, Centennial grabbed 17 offensive rebounds to Reed’s one. The Bulldogs wound up winning the war on the boards 49-40.
“That’s just a will and want to have the basketball,” Centennial coach Karen Weitz said. “We always want to limit our opponents to one and done and then get as many chances as we can, but it also helps to have kids with a nose for the basketball.”
Reed also hurt its cause by giving up 16 first-half turnovers. Centennial wound up forcing 37 Raiders turnovers while committing 23.
Centennial got up 42 shots in the first half, making 18 while Reed was only 5-of-18. The overall stats weren’t any better for Reed fans. The teams shot similar percentages, but Centennial got up 26 more shots.
Reed was 20-of-49 from the floor compared to Centennial’s 33-75.
Reed was much improved in the third quarter but it mattered little. The Raiders outscored the Bulldogs 19-15 in the third but still trailed 58-42 going to the final quarter. Joanna Phillips knocked down a trey for Reed that pulled the RHS crew within 13, 49-36 with 3:21 left on the third-quarter clock.
The Raiders could not hold on to the momentum. After a Centennial timeout, the Las Vegas school responded with nine unanswered points in a span of less than two minutes.
“You always want to start well in the first and third periods,” Weitz said. “I didn’t think we did that in the third. They tried to use that run in the third to get back in the game. When you watch enough basketball, you usually see a team make a run, but then a lot of times they run out of gas.”
After the lopsided loss, Reed’s first of the season, Schopper tried to see the big picture.
“We played better in the second half. At that point, that’s all we could do. I’m proud of our kids. They played tough and fought to the end,” Schopper said. “There is always a team that’s better out there. That’s why you come down here to play and find out who is the best.”
Gabby Williams finished with 14 points for Reed in defeat, while Nyasha LeSure and Sierra Hooft chipped in 12 and 10 points respectively.
“We stuck to our defensive game plan. We wanted to limit Gabby and Micah’s touches. We knew they had some other shooters, but we thought if we could limit their touches, that would help,” Weitz said.
Jade Brown poured in 26 for Centennial to lead all scorers. Tamera Williams and Beanna Workman contributed 15 and 10 points to the winning cause.
Centennial will meet Liberty at 6 p.m. tonight in the 4A girls final.