After scoring the first two points of the game on free throws, Manogue never again held the lead as Reno cruised into the regional final.
“We shot the ball well,” Reno coach Shane Foster said. “We’ve been shooting the ball well. Defensively I thought we did a good job of defending the basketball and making them shoot over the top of us. We fouled a little bit too much. I think over half of their points in the first half were free throws. That sort of set the tone and then we did slowly open up a lead.
“We got it to 11 at the half mostly because of our defense. Then we came out in the third and hit a few threes right in a row. They made a run to get back within 10 but we were able to pull away.”
Holding a 4-3 edge with 5:57 left in the first, Reno senior guard CC Sobrio ignited a 10-2 run over the rest of the quarter with a pair of triples, putting the Huskies ahead 14-5.
Manogue began to crawl back into the contest with five straight points in the second, cutting the lead to 14-10. The four-point deficit would be the closest the Miners would get to the High Desert’s second seed.
The scoreboard read 19-13 with just under four minutes left until halftime, but then Reno closed out the first half with a 7-2 run that gave the Huskies an 11-point, 26-15, advantage at the intermission.
Eight straight points out of the break pushed the Huskies’ lead to 34-15 with six minutes left in the third. The teams then traded the final 11 buckets of the quarter, leaving the Reno lead at 43-29 with one quarter to play.
A 3-pointer from Manogue’s Gabbi Concepcion capped a small burst that pulled the Miners within 10 of Reno at 45-35. However, an 8-1 counter from the Huskies brought the score to 53-36 with two minutes left on the clock. Reno coasted the rest of the way on free throws en route to the 60-43 final.
“We got it within 10 but really the best team won tonight,” Manogue coach Craig Holt said. “They outplayed us. They had a better game plan. We don’t match up real well against Reno and I’ve said that all year long. Their guards are a lot stronger than ours and it hurts us inside with their dribble-drive. They were able to get inside often. The key of the game tonight was to keep them out of the key and we weren’t able to do that.”
Sobrio led the Huskies with a game-high 23 points. She drained five shots from beyond the arc.
“CC is a great player,” Foster said. “Defensively she picked up some fouls and had to sit a little, but she competes and I’d love to see people let her shoot 10 threes a game.”
Junior guard Gigi Hascheff added 15 points for Reno while senior guard Shannon Gough dropped in nine. Reno went 19-of-41 on the night (46.3 percent). The Huskies won the battle on the boards, grabbing 25 rebounds to the Miners’ 19.
Manogue was led by freshman guard Brianna Holt with 17 points. Concepcion and junior guard Kelly Lujan chipped in on the losing effort with 11 points and 10 points, respectively. The Miners shot 12-0f-50 from the field (24 percent).
Reno is now set to face off against rival Reed, the High Desert’s No. 1 seed, to decide the Northern champ. Tipoff is set for Saturday at 4 p.m. at Spanish Springs.
Reed swept the Huskies in league play, taking the first game in December 71-59 and the second contest last month 63-59. In order for Reno to upend the Raiders, Foster said it will come down to one thing.
“We have to score more points than they do. Bottom line is we know each other pretty well. I don’t think either one of us is going to surprise the other with anything new. It’s just going to be a matter of who comes out and executes.”