Luckily for the Raiders, the defense for the High Desert League’s No. 2 seed was still up to the task for most of the game.
Reed held Douglas scoreless for over the first 10 minutes of the D-I Northern Region quarterfinal, but couldn’t put the Tigers away in regulation after an inspired second-half comeback by the No. 3 seed from the Sierra League. The stifling defense reemerged for overtime as the Raiders claimed a 47-43 overtime win to advance to the regional semis against SL champion Bishop Manogue — a 61-20 victor over North Valleys.
“I told them we weren’t going to be able to stay in the 2-3 (zone) because they were going to make adjustments. We were going to have to get out there and play and be aggressive,” Schopper-Ramirez said. “We had to throw some things at them in order to get them a little flustered. But they’re a good team. They’re young and took care of the ball well in the second half. I’m just proud of my girls that they found a way to win.”
After making two shots from the field in the first half for five points, Douglas came racing back after the break.
The Tigers made adjustments at the intermission and socked the Raiders with a 10-0 run right out of the gates. Corryne Millett scored six of the 10 points, closing the gap to 22-15 halfway through the third period.
After Reed got a free throw, Douglas kept on coming.
Diana Regalado had her shot blocked but tracked down the loose ball and scored the bucket. Katie McCollough knocked down a long two and eight seconds later, Millett swiped a steal in the backcourt and hit a 15-footer, making it a one-possession game, 23-21.
The Tigers had a chance to tie, but McCollough only made one free throw during her trip to the charity stripe. That left the Minden school trailing 23-22 with 1:14 left in the third period.
A basket by Tyler Sumpter gave Reed a 25-22 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Both teams were in the bonus with six and a half minutes remaining in the game.
That helped the Raiders, who started playing more like they had been in this position before.
Reed increased its cushion to six on three occasions, but couldn’t pull away.
A pair of foul shots by Sumpter gave the Blue and Gold a 31-25 edge with 4:33 remaining. Millett answered with a putback.
Following a Raider free throw, Kelly Sonnemann drained a trey from the left wing, slicing the lead down to 32-30.
Reed was able to go up by seven, 37-30, with a modest 5-0 run. But Sonnemann knocked down another 3-pointer and fired up the Orange and Black for one last run.
Trailing 37-33 with just under two minutes to play, Douglas set up an in-bounds play under the basket where Millett sealed off a defender for Regalado to receive the pass and make an easy layup for a 37-35 score.
Nakiyah LeSure put Reed up 39-35 with 1:33 on the fourth-quarter clock.
Ten seconds later, Sonnemann sank two free throws, closing the gap to 39-37.
The Raiders came right back down the floor. T.T. McFalls drove to the hoop but hit the front of the rim on a layup. Leonna Mortimer grabbed the rebound for the visiting crew and was fouled from behind. Mortimer barely touched the net on both free-throw attempts, almost surprising herself, as she knotted the game at 39-39 with 1:13 left.
On defense, Douglas got a block and collected the ball. However, the Tigers had a pass intercepted by Aneesa Mwakapumba and she was fouled near midcourt. Mwakapumba missed both free throws, opening the door for Douglas to take its first lead of the night.
With 32 seconds left, Douglas called timeout to set up an offensive play. It was a wasted timeout as the Tigers threw the in-bounds pass to Sumpter.
Reed then called timeout to set up its final play. The hosts got a better look at the go-ahead bucket, but LeSure’s shot was short and the ball went out of bounds with less than 3 seconds on the clock. No desperation heaves were in order, so the game went to overtime where the Raiders took control by scoring the first four points of the extra period.
A short-range jumper by Sumpter bumped up Reed’s lead to 45-41 with 2:10 to play.
Douglas cut the margin in half, 45-43, with 1:31 on the clock.
The Raiders came away empty handed on their possession and the Tigers had a chance to tie with under a minute to go.
Sonnemann was set up in the corner but her three-point attempt was just off the mark. Douglas was fouled on the putback attempt but missed both free throws.
Trailing by two with 36.9 seconds remaining, the Tigers’ bench was screaming to foul, but the players didn’t get the message until there were 9 seconds left. That didn’t leave enough time for the Tigers after Sumpter sealed the victory by nailing both free throws.
Sumpter paced Reed with 21 points. She scored half of the Raiders’ points in the first half as they took a 22-5 lead into the locker room.
LeSure added 14 in the win.
Millette and Sonnemann both chipped in 10 points to the losing cause.
Reed (20-4) will take on Manogue at 5 p.m. Friday at Carson High.
“They’re quick and I expect some pressure. I think if we take care of the basketball, we have a size advantage inside with Tina (Vernon) and Nakiyah getting better at holding her seal,” Schopper-Ramirez said. “I think if we go inside-out, we’ll be fine. The big thing is to take care of the ball and get our hands up on defense. If we play with that much heart and scrappiness as we did tonight, anything is possible.”