The Raiders led 28-14 at the half and extended the gap to 41-16 midway through the third quarter. The distance never shrunk to less than 21.
So it was another anticlimactic win? Nope. The Raiders’ 21-point win was probably its most dramatic of the season.
After hitting a pair of free throws to push Reed’s lead to 41-16, UConn commit Gabby Williams landed awkwardly on her surgically-repaired knee and went to the gym floor, yelling in pain while grabbing her knee. Williams tore the ACL in her knee in early January of last season.
Reed coach Sara Ramirez helped carry Williams to the bench where she held her jersey over her face before being helped to the locker room.
“It’s scary. It’s scary,” Ramirez said. “My only thing is to just keep her calm.”
Despite the scare that pushed the mute button on the gym’s volume, Ramirez said Williams walked out of the gym on her own power and the initial belief is that Williams did not reinjure the knee.
The extent of what may result to just be a massive scare, will be known Wednesday after Williams visits her knee specialist.
“She jumps up so high and comes down with so much force, that’s just the way she plays the game…,” Ramirez said. “It’s something she needs to get used to, and that’s what the trainer said. Sometimes with the scar tissue coming down, and moving a lot, it hurts worse.”
Before Williams’ spill made nearly every Raider fan’s stomach churn, Reed grabbed a 23-14 lead in the first quarter.
The Raiders led 9-3 early before Mariah Vargas’ and Katrina Prendergast’s fast-break buckets cut the distance to two. Vargas led the Cougars with 14 points and Prenderast's nine were the second most for the Purple and Silver.
Reed responded with a 7-0 run, and led by nine after the first eight minutes. The outcome of the game was never really in question.
After combining for 37 points in the first quarter, only five points were scored in the second – all by Reed.
“They’re good at what they do,” Spanish Springs coach Art Cardenas said. “They’re a zone aggressive team when they go back to a zone.”
Struggling with Reed’s length, Spanish Springs mustered just seven points in the third quarter and trailed 46-21 entering the final period.
Without Williams on the floor, Spanish Springs outscored Reed 16-12 in the final quarter including a 7-0 spurt.
“It was crisp passing. I told them to be patient,” Cardenas said. “I told them let’s run the offense and make them work on defense. We did a good job for the most part but we go in spurts where we come down and take a poor shot … Like I said, they’re good at what they do.”
Reed’s Tyler Sumpter led all scorers with 18 points, including a trio of shots from behind the arc. Tina Vernon (12 points) and Nakiyah LeSure (11 points) joined Sumpter in double digits.
Spanish Springs fell to 12-4, 4-4 in league games with the loss and will look to jump back above .500 in league games Friday at home against North Valleys.
Reed improved to 11-1, 6-1 in league meetings and now prepares for its biggest game of the season Friday at home against Reno (18-1), the defending state champion. The Raiders edged Reno 50-47 on the road Dec. 19.
“Every team we play, we always have Reno in our head,” Ramirez said.
Williams’ status for Friday is unknown.