“Really competitive and good basketball,” Reno coach Shane Foster said about the matchup of the two squads. “When you get (us) together, the intensity picks up.”
The Reno Huskies
forced Reed into overtime and effectively shut down the Raiders’ offense, which only scored five points in the extra session.
Reno’s defense effectively shut down Reed’s star, Erica McKenzie, who was double and tripled teamed at the end of the fourth quarter and completely shut out in overtime.
“We were fortunate Erica didn’t hit as many shots in the second half,” Foster said. “We tried to limit her shots.”
Reed’s second-leading scorer, Danielle Peacon, fouled out of the game with 4 minutes and 23 seconds left in the fourth. She was called for two fouls one sequence, an over-the-back call and a technical foul.
The Huskies’ late defensive plan worked and Foster said that with Peacon out of the game they were able to “take more of a gamble” by placing more defenders on McKenzie.
Reno’s Stephanie Rovetti sank both of the technical free throws to bring her squad within two of the visiting Raiders, 49-47.
Reed (6-5, 1-1 HDL) followed up the technicals with a pair of free throws by Honor Knudsen and a Joanna Phillips jumper for a 55-50 edge. Reno got within one, on back-to-back jumpers, the second by Stevi Cooper after a Raiders’ turnover to pull within one, 55-54.
Reno (13-5, 2-0 High Desert League) gave up two points by fouling McKenzie in the back court. She connected on two foul shots for a 57-54 Reed lead with 55 seconds remaining in regulation.
Cooper put up a shot from 3-point range, dead center, and sank it to send the game into overtime at 57 apiece.
The Raiders tallied the first basket of overtime on an off-the-glass jumper by Kayla Shannon, Reed’s only scorer during the extra period. The Huskies didn’t let McKenzie gain even an inch on them and with Peacon out of the game, they were able to double and triple-team her on offense and prevent her from getting very far on the inbounds pass.
The Huskies put up the next five points, taking a 62-59 edge over the Raiders, who struggled to knock down their shots. Shannon made the second of two free throws to get the Sparks school back within two, 62-60. She followed up with two more free throws with 31 seconds left to get to the final mark of 62.
Reed made a desperate attempt to tie the game, trailing 65-62, but McKenzie had to throw up a highly-pressured 3-pointer from the right side that bounced off the rim with 15 seconds left. Reno made three of its last four free throws to seal the victory.
“This game didn’t win us a title,” Schopper said. “This game didn’t win us league. It didn’t win us anything.”
What the game did do was give Reed some well-needed experience, in close games and down-to-the-wire opportunities, Schopper said.
McKenzie had a much easier time in the first half with 15 first-half points, making a trio of 3-point baskets. Reno trailed 11-9 with one minute remaining in the first quarter but Shannon Gough rallied her squad with a trey and a jumper to give Reno a 14-11 lead after the first quarter.
Reed cut the lead to one two minutes into the second quarter with a turn-around jumper by Peacon. Reno led by as many as five in the second quarter. However, the Raiders scored the final five points of the half on a three-point play by Peacon and the RHS squad tied it up when Knudsen pulled down an offensive rebound and laid it in for a 28-28 score going into halftime.
Even with the tight defense, McKenzie finished with a game-high 23 points. Peacon chipped in with 22 of her own before her fourth-quarter exit.
Reno had four players in double digits, led by Rovetti who had 21 on the night. Taylor Powers added for 14. Abby Boorman and Elizabeth Messick had 13 and 12 respectively.
“We tried to get the ball inside to Abby (Boorman),” Foster said. “She has five inches on anyone who guards her.”
Reno 68, Reed 55
The Raiders’ boys squad also had tough night, trailing the entire game to the Huskies.
With the loss, the Raiders fall to 1-1 in league and 5-8 overall.
“I was proud of the kids’ effort,” Reed coach Dustin Hall said. “They were consistent from start to finish.”
Reed had another slow start, allowing the defending 4A state champions to start with an 8-0 lead before Taylor Yancey put in a 3-point basket for the Raiders. Reed trailed 20-8 after the first eight minutes of play.
Reed gained some momentum in the second quarter and slowly whittled away at Reno’s (2-0 HDL) lead to trail 33-24 at half.
Even with the loss, Hall said he was pleased with the game and his squad’s play.
“It was good for us to play on the road against the defending champions,” he said. “This showed us where we’re at, at this point in the season.”
The third quarter was a rough one for the Blue and Gold. The squad missed back-to-back 3-point baskets more than twice, and only scored eight points in the quarter, allowing Reno to push its lead to 15, 47-32.
Hall said the spree of threes was not part of the squad’s game plan.
“We distinctly talked about attacking the rim and not settling,” Hall said.
However, his scorers were getting open looks but the shots weren’t falling and he wouldn’t deter a player from taking the open shots, he said.
The Raiders had their best quarter of the night to close out the game, scoring 23 points, while Reno scored 21.
Mike Powell dropped 22 points for Reed, after scoring 29 against Sparks on Saturday. Lennox Pierce added 14 for the Raiders.
Austin Morgan led Reno with 25 and was the only member of the Huskies to reach double digits, while 10 other players chipped in points for the squad.
“We’re trying to find an identity as a team,” Hall said. “I think we’re better than we were a month ago. “I think we’re better than we were a week ago.”
Reed travels to Elko on Friday.