The Raiders rolled to a 67-35 Northern 4A regional semifinal tournament triumph over Carson Thursday night at Spanish Springs High School. The victory gives Reed a berth in the North title game for the ninth straight year.
“It is amazing,” Reed coach Sara Schopper said of the RHS success. “Reed has a great tradition in girls basketball. The kids come into tryouts here and they have a pride about that. They know we’ve got a good program. Our seniors teach our younger kids. They learn it and pass it on, obviously, because we’ve got new kids every year. It’s not the same kids we had nine years ago.”
Carson, the Sierra League runner-up, was no match for Reed, the High Desert League champion. It took the Raiders nearly a quarter to get revved up. But once they did, there was no slowing them down.
Kaitlyn Holmes made 1-of-2 foul shots for Carson with 57 seconds showing on the first-quarter clock. The Senators would never find themselves that close again.
Reed got a short jumper from Tyler Sumpter to close the first quarter and then posted the first two buckets of the second quarter, extending its edge to double digits, 20-10, for the first time in the postseason affair.
Carson tried to hang around. The Capital City school found itself down nine, 30-21 with just under two minutes left before halftime. Reed proceeded to rip off 10 unanswered points in the final 1:26 before the intermission and found itself on top 40-21 going into the locker room at the break.
“I thought we played well defensively in the first quarter. We just didn’t convert turnovers into points,” Schopper said. “We missed a lot of easy shots early. Once we calmed down, we were fine.
“We have not played at full speed in a couple weeks because of our injuries, so it was good to get back to that.”
Reed did not let up. It pushed its lead to 32 points, 59-27, by outscoring Carson 19-6 in the third period.
The two teams traded buckets in the fourth quarter as each team managed eight points, playing units comprised largely of reserves.
The Raiders’ full-court pressure was relentless. Carson had no answer for it, especially in the first half when it had 18 of its 25 giveaways.
“Ultimately, what it comes down to is we did not do the things we talked about,” Carson coach Todd Ackerman said. “An then in the third quarter, I thought we’d come out with a little more energy and we didn’t.
“We did not get the cross-court pass (against the press), at least not consistently and it was open consistently. We didn’t execute like we needed to.”
Reed turned in a balanced scoring effort as a trio of Raiders turned in double digits in the scoring column. Tyler Sumpter turned in a game-high 17 points, dropping four 3-point bombs in the win. Nyasha LeSure and Sierra Hooft added 16 and 14 points to Reed’s winning cause.
“Tyler did not look rusty,” Schopper said, alluding to her sharpshooting sophomore guard coming back injury. “She shot the ball. I thought she defended fine and I didn’t see anything in her face that made me think she was in pain.”
Eliza Matley finished with 12 points for Carson and was the lone senator to score in double figures.
Reed will face Reno Saturday at Spanish Springs High school in the Northern 4A’s championship game. Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.