Maria Moore leads Reed girls past Senators
SPANISH SPRINGS - So, who's the player of the year in Northern 4A girls basketball this season? Reed High School point guard Maria Moore made a pretty good case for herself - and more - Friday afternoon when she scored 22 points to lead the Raiders to a 64-51 victory against Carson in the Northern 4A Regional Tournament semifinals.
"Maria Moore showed, at least in my opinion, that she is the best player in the state. No doubt," coach Richard Shaw said after the Raiders advanced to the tournament finals today at 4 p.m. against Reno.
Moore, a 5-foot-5 junior, scored 11 points in the first quarter to help stake the High Desert League champion Raiders to a 24-16 lead they never relinquished. It wasn't just a one-player show, either, because four different players combined to knock down nine 3-pointers for Reed (24-3).
"I thought we played well. Reed was just on fire. Their guards are real good," Carson senior guard Tabitha Adams said.
The scrappy Senators battled all the way - they only trailed 49-45 after three quarters - largely because of 13 points from Adams and Ciarra Christian's 14. Andrea Hoff and Nicole Scott also contributed eight points each for Carson.
"Tabitha Adams played an awesome game," Shaw said. "She had 13 points and three 3's; we weren't expecting that, so kudos to her."
Scott scored on a short jumper, assisted by Adams, to cut Reed's lead to 29-24 and Adams hit an outside jumper, assisted by Christian to make it 32-26 with 2:04 remaining in the second quarter. After each of those shots, the Raiders answered with a 3-pointer - one by Raven Harrowa, the other by Hannah Bellows - as they took a 38-30 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Reed led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, but the Senators came back and created some excitement with an 8-0 run in the final 43 seconds. Adams buried a 3-pointer from the top of the key, off an assist from Christian, to make it 49-40. Katie Kotter sank the first of two free throws, Kotter scored on a drive and then Christian drove the lane and lofted in a left-handed shot as time expired to cut Reed's lead to 49-45.
The Senators missed a shot that would have made it a two-point game at the outset of the fourth quarter and Ashley Keefer buried a 3-pointer on the other end of the court to give the momentum back to Reed. Harrowa sank a free throw and then Moore slashed to the basket to put in an acrobatic left-handed shot to extend the lead to 55-45.
"We had different people hit big shots at different times," Shaw said.
Keefer and Harrowa finished with 12 and 11 points respectively and both had two 3-pointers to help Reed defeat Carson for the third time this season.
"Carson's always played us tough," Shaw said. "Alana (Williams) is a great coach ... it's just too bad only one of us is going to state. Four years ago, all four of us (the semifinalists) would have been going ... I'd like to see it go back to the old system."
Instead, the Senators closed the book on their season with a 20-10 record, including a second-place finish in the Sierra League.
"We had a pretty good year," Adams said. "There were some little things we could have done different, but you can't look back. You just have to move forward."