RENO - For the Galena girls basketball team, it must have felt like trying to hold back the tide as the Bishop Gorman Gaels kept coming at it in waves during Thursday's NIAA Class 4A State Championship semifinal game.
And for a while, behind the determined effort of Grizzlies power forward Caitlin Anderson, Galena was able to stem the tide.
But in the end the task was too much and Gorman had a strong second half and took a 63-51 victory over the Grizzlies.
The Gaels had a balanced attack, with nine players scoring to Galena's six, and had three in double figures as they improved to 30-1 and moved on to today's championship game with Reed.
Lauren Hoisington, a 6-foot-2 senior forward, scored a team-high 12 points for Gorman, followed by Kaila Goff, with 11, and Lynsey Freeman, with 10.
"They are big, quick and can shoot," Galena coach Karen Friel said of the Gaels. "They are a very good team."
Galena, which ended the season at 26-5, wasn't bad either, and jumped up early on Gorman behind the hard-nosed play of Anderson, who scored 15 of her game-high 21 points in the first half.
Anderson, who had nine points in the opening quarter, sandwiched two 3-pointers around a free throw as the Grizzlies led 9-3 early, but a 10-4 Gaels run tied it 13-13 heading into the second.
After Darriel Gaynor popped in a trey to give Gorman a 19-15 lead, Anderson converted 3-of-4 free throws over the next 48 seconds and Galena was still close at 19-18.
Following a 12-footer by Goff, it was Anderson who drilled another three to trim the lead to 23-22, with 1:52 remaining in the half.
Amy Scott, a 6-foot junior for Galena, tied it up when she converted one of her two free throws, but Lynsey Freeman scored five consecutive points to take the air out of Galena's attack and give the Gaels a 28-23 lead.
Galena would rally from a six-point deficit in the third to tie it 30-30 on a layup by Caitlin Crofts (who would finish with 12 points), but a 15-4 run by the Gaels put the game out of reach with 1:48 to go in the quarter.
"I think we let down a little in the third," Friel said, "and to do that mentally...this team (Gorman) jumps all over that. Twenty-two (Gayle) hurt us more than we expected her to do. Fifteen (Hoisington) came in tough - we knew we had to throw a lot of players at her."
Friel said she felt the point of no return came in the middle of the fourth quarter, when she said she knew her team "couldn't get a run and three or four turnovers in a row."
"They attacked our press and got buckets and took the heart out of us," Friel said.
The closest Galena would get again was a nine-point deficit, when Micheon Aguilar's bucket made it 47-38 at the end of the third quarter.
Gorman took its largest lead - 17 points - when Hoisington hit a 15-footer to make it 58-41, with 4:47 remaining in the game.
An Anderson basket would get Galena to within 10 at 61-51, but the result was not going to be changed.
"We had a great year," said Friel, who loses eight seniors to graduation. "That it...I hate that it ends like this. They need to look back on how much they accomplished during the season. It's hard for me to say goodbye."
Reed and Gorman will meet for the championship at 8 p.m. today, at Lawlor Events Center.
REED 67, BASIC 53
The Lady Raiders outscored the Wolves 42-25 over the second and third quarters to overcame a 17-11 deficit at the end of the first period to advance to today's championship match with Bishop Gorman.
Kayla Williams scored a team-high 16 points to lead Reed, which improved to 21-8 on the season and will seek its first state championship since it won three in a row from 1991-93.
Mary Alice Palmer added 12 points and Mary Sprinkle and Karrie Quartz each chipped in 11 for the Raiders.
Basic ended its season with a record of 20-6.
RANCHO 83, HUG 68
The Hug boys basketball team ran into a buzz saw in the Rams, who turned a close game (16-16 after the first quarter) into a 65-54 advantage after three quarters.
Ariece Perkins (32 points) and Terrence McGill (24) came up huge for Rancho, which improved to 23-6 and will face Reno in today's championship game.
Armon Johnson had a team-high 19 points for Hug (26-5), but only three in the last quarter. Eddie Cranford (17 points) and Gabe Dobbins (16) each had a solid game, but the Hawks could not slow down the Rams.
RENO 58, BISHOP GORMAN 57
With its victory, Reno (26-5) will be seeking its 12th state title (but its first since 1963) against Rancho. The Rams have won four state titles and will be looking for their first since 1986.
The Reno-Rancho championship game will start at 6 p.m. today at Lawlor Events Center.