The High Desert League champs did what was expected of them and easily dispatched the fourth-seeded Douglas Tigers in the quarterfinals of the Northern 4A regional tournament, 68-35.
“I think we came out and played our style of playoff game and executed plays,” Reed girls basketball coach Sara Schopper said. “We worked on defense and made the team turn the ball over, and we finished. I thought we were moving well on offense. We were cutting and attacking. I like it.”
Six seconds into the playoff game, Reed sophomore point guard Gabby Williams followed her own miss with a putback to stun the Tigers off the opening tip. She then swiped a steal and went coast to coast for a layup and a 4-0 score, 25 seconds after the start of the game.
Reed received a scare right after that. On a drive to the hoop, Williams came up lame and Raider fans suffered a case of déjà vu. Williams was hurt in the Reno game on a similar play and wasn’t 100 percent for the rest of the regular season. However, it wasn’t an aggravation of the same injury.
“It was her ankle and not her knee. She gets a little nervous too after coming off an injury,” Schopper said. “She’s playing through it. She looked fine. I think we’re 100 percent. We just need to get Tyler’s (Sumpter) shot back and we’ll be fine. But other people are stepping up. Nyasha (LeSure) is playing hard like a senior captain wanting to get a championship and so is Sierra (Hooft).”
Williams came out of the game at the 5:55 mark, and LeSure took over in the paint. LeSure scored six of Reed’s next eight points, giving the home team its first double-digit edge, 12-2, halfway through the first quarter.
Williams re-entered the game about a minute after sitting on the bench, but it took a couple minutes for her to show she was fine. With about two and a half minutes remaining in the first, Williams picked off a pass at midcourt and blazed past everyone for a layup and a 16-4 lead.
The Raiders took a 22-6 advantage into the second quarter after Hooft and Williams knocked down back-to-back treys to close out the first period.
It was more of the same in the second quarter. Williams and Hooft both intercepted passes on defense and took it the distance for a layup and were fouled. Williams converted the three-point play, but Hooft missed the foul shot, leaving the Raiders ahead 31-10.
Hooft initiated a 10-2 run to close out the first half. A Tina Vernon bucket down low ended the run, pushing Reed’s lead to 41-14 after one half of action.
The third quarter saw the hosts increase their advantage by three points as they outscored Douglas 13-10 in an uneventful period.
The fourth quarter was more like the typical Blue and Gold, despite the starters sitting for most of the quarter. The Raiders scored the first six points of the fourth quarter, which ended up being part of a 11-3 rally. A 3-pointer from JV call-up Megan Dettling increased the Reed edge to a game-high 38 points, 65-27, with 2:50 to play. But the RHS cagers never reached the 40-point plateau to institute the running-clock mercy rule.
LeSure paced the Raiders with 18 points. Williams added 14 and Hooft finished with 11.
Douglas (11-19) didn’t have anyone in double figures, but Diana Regalado, Erica Macias and Ebony Cleveland each poured in eight points in the losing cause.
With the win, Reed (19-2) advances to the regional semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday night at Spanish Springs High School. The Raiders will face Sierra League runner-up Carson, a 41-36 winner over Spanish Springs Tuesday night.