There are plenty of favorites in this season's Division I North girls basketball region tournament, but the dark horses could be just as formidable.
Bishop Manogue, Reno, Reed and Spanish Springs are seemingly in control as the playoffs begin today at the higher seed. Looking to spring upsets are North Valleys, Damonte Ranch, Douglas and Carson.
Sierra League champion Bishop Manogue (15-1) comes in on a nine-game winning streak. The Miners host North Valleys (6-10) for their quarterfinal matchup. In the first meeting Manogue won, 67-36.
Ball movement and perimeter shooting will be the key. Manogue will need to continue emphasizing team play and knock down its outside shots.
High Desert League champion Reno (14-2) hosts Damonte Ranch (3-13). In their first meeting, Reno cruised to a 71-37 victory. The Huskies were upset late in the season by Manogue, but have since run off four straight wins.
With an imposing frontcourt, Reno has the ability to control the paint like no other team. When point guard Gigi Hascheff dictates the flow of the game and gets the ball inside, the Huskies are close to unbeatable.
Reed (14-2) will look to defend last year's title, but will have to do so without Gabby Williams. The team has been inconsistent of late, losing the final game of the season to Spanish Springs. The Raiders host Douglas (8-8), a team they beat early in the season, 77-41, but that was with Williams.
Tyler Sumpter, Tina Vernon and Brooke Cervantes can win games for the team, but the Raiders need to re-establish roles and leadership on the court if they're to defend their regional championship.
After beating Reed, Spanish Springs (12-4) goes into the postseason with a lot of momentum. Spanish Springs must travel to Carson (11-5) and exact revenge on the team that knocked it out of the playoffs last year. Spanish Springs recently defeated the Senators, 52-35.
Spanish Springs' Riley Holladay, Lyndsey Anderson and Hannah Woytek must play well. Against Reed, Holladay and Anderson played exceptional. If the Cougars can get Woytek going, as well, they will be a handful for any team.