It might be only January, but the Reed High girls basketball team sent a message with a 65-56 win over Bishop Manogue on Friday night.
In a matchup between league leaders Friday, the Sierra League's Bishop Manogue (13-1) traveled to Sparks to face Reed of the High Desert League (13-2). The teams played at a high pace throughout, with Reed able to hang on for the win. Reed (13-2) controlled the game until midway through the third quarter, when the Miners' Brianna Holt got hot. Holt scored 15 of her 22 points in the quarter and helped Manogue (13-1) seize the momentum heading into the fourth. "I wasn't worried; I know my team," Reed coach Sara Ramirez said. "I pulled them aside and said, 'It's not over yet. You still have another quarter. Lets take care of the ball and get after it.'" In the fourth, both teams picked up the defensive intensity with full-court presses, constant traps and double teams. Manogue was able to hold onto the lead for the better part of the quarter, but the Miners ran into trouble in the form of Reed star Gabby Williams. "Our game plan was to try and force the ball out of Gabby's hands and make other people beat us," Manogue coach Craig Holt said. "She did what she had to do to win the game." Even though the Miners forced the ball out of Williams' hands, her ability to find teammates out of double-teams proved to be the undoing for the Miners. "Their traps weren't in on me too hard," Williams said. "I was able to hold it, and let my teammates move around. It let us get some options." At the 2:30 mark in the fourth, Williams would do just that, dishing an assist that gave the Raiders a one-point lead. Ten seconds later, Brooke Cervantes let loose a dagger of a 3-pointer to put Reed up by four. "That's what I'm training our team to do," Ramirez said. "When they start worrying about Gabby, then it's your time to step up and hit some big shots." Manogue would have chances towards the end, but the Miners went cold from the floor. With just over a minute left, Holt fouled out and the Raiders closed out the game with a 9-0 run. Holt saw the game as a learning experience for his team, and it showed his girls that they can play with anyone, including the reigning state champs. "I'm not disappointed in the way we played," Holt said. "I thought if a couple calls go our way or we hit one big three there, we probably win that game." Williams and Tyler Sumpter led the way for Reed, each scoring 22 points. Williams struggled with her shot throughout the game, but found other ways to contribute. She nabbed eight rebounds, seven assists, seven steals and one block. "We knew that we could win that game if we play how Reed plays," Williams said. "You gotta play to the last second."