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4A GIRLS: Gorman girls crave crown that got away

Bishop Gorman’s girls basketball team has had a year to think about what might’ve been.

What if the Gaels had done something, anything differently in the Class 4A state championship game last year?

What if they hadn’t suffered a heartbreaking one-point defeat to arch-rival Centennial?

“It was a whole year of just what-ifs and, ‘Why did we do this?’ ” Gorman coach Sheryl Krmpotich said. “You replay that for a whole year and it sits for a whole year.”

Gorman exorcised some of its demons by eliminating Centennial in the Sunset Region final Friday. The Gaels hope to complete their quest in the state tournament starting today at UNR’s Lawlor Events Center.

Gorman (25-5) faces Northern Region champion Reno (24-4) at 3 p.m. in the semifinals. Sunrise Region champion Liberty (25-4) faces Northern runner-up Reed (17-6) in the 6:20 p.m. semifinal. The winners will play for the championship at 6 p.m. Friday.

Gorman won three consecutive state titles before losing to Centennial 59-58 in last year’s final. The Gaels returned with senior guard Aaryn Ellenberg and a capable supporting cast, with the goal of being at least two points better this season.

“These girls have really worked hard and one of the goals was to make this stepping stone,” Krmpotich said.

The effort has paid off so far. All of the Gaels’ five losses are to out-of-state teams — three from California, one each from Oregon and Colorado — and they enter the semifinals with a 16-game winning streak. Gorman has scored 70 or more points in 10 consecutive games.

The catalyst is Ellenberg, who this season became the first Gorman girl with 2,000 career points, but the Gaels can expect solid contributions from junior guard Amber Lane, junior post Chelsie Pitt and sophomore guard Zhane Dikes.

Gorman’s depth was never more evident than in the Sunset final against Centennial. Freshman post Diamond Majors and other subs played quality minutes in the Gaels’ 75-64 victory.

“We have a lot of weapons,” Krmpotich said. “We have depth. We didn’t have that last year.”

Reno, however, should give Gorman all it can handle. Led by senior guard Stephanie Rovetti, the Huskies have three players averaging 11.3 points or better and another averaging nine. They are the last team other than Gorman or Centennial to win Class 4A (2001).

“Reno is very good. They’re solid across the board,” Krmpotich said.

Liberty is making its first appearance at state, having beaten Green Valley in the Sunrise Region final. Reed has won three large-school titles, but none since 1993 when the state had only three classes.

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