Updated February 25, 2022 - 9:12 pm
RENO — Spring Valley girls basketball coach Billy Hemberger described his team as having been “Jekyll and Hyde all season,” and that showed up again in Friday’s Class 5A state semifinal.
Bishop Manogue shredded the Spring Valley defense for 47 points in the first half. The Grizzlies tightened in the second half, but the hole they dug was too deep in a 74-62 loss at Lawlor Events Center.
“I will give credit Bishop Manogue, but it had nothing to do with Bishop Manogue,” Hemberger said. “We were terrible.”
In the second semifinal, Centennial blew past Douglas 65-9. The Bulldogs will play for their seventh straight state championship against Bishop Manogue at 3 p.m. Saturday.
Jaileen Yarrow scored 22 points to lead four Miners in double figures. Milasarai Tau added 17 points for the Miners (20-4), who also got 11 apiece from Soleil Cariaga and Elliot Motherway and outscored the Grizzlies 24-11 in the second quarter for a 47-28 halftime lead.
Aaliyah Gayles scored 22 points, all in the final three quarters, and Jaila Childress added 18 for Spring Valley. Freshman Grace Knox picked up two fouls in the first quarter and finished with two points.
“You’ve got to play basketball with five players, and we wish some people would have stepped up,” Hemberger said. “But it’s a learning experience. We’ll learn from it, grow from it and hopefully they’ll remember this.”
Despite his disappointment, Hemberger was proud of his team for reaching the state semifinals for the second consecutive season.
The Grizzlies (14-8) beat Bishop Manogue in the state quarterfinals two years ago when Garrisen Freeman banked in a 3-pointer at the buzzer before falling to Centennial in the semifinals.
“I’m proud of the fact we got back here. I’d sound spoiled to say anything different,” Hemberger said. “To be able to come back to state back-to-back years, it’s a special program, and we’ll continue to fight to get better.”
Centennial dominates Douglas
It wasn’t two minutes into the second semifinal, and some of Douglas’ players already looked tired.
That’s the kind of pressure Centennial puts on opponents.
Montaya Dew scored 16 points, and more than half the game was played with a running clock as the Bulldogs hounded the Tigers.
“I didn’t think we played that well. Defensively, yes, and we scored off the defense,” Centennial coach Karen Weitz said. “Offensively, we just didn’t run things very well.”
The Tigers (18-9) struggled to even inbound the ball and were called for two five-second violations in the first quarter. When they got the ball in, the Bulldogs were all over them and allowed only three field goals the entire game.
Mary McMorris scored 14 points and Kaniya Boyd 12 for Centennial (16-3). Weitz said she watched Bishop Manogue against Spring Valley and was impressed with how it ran its offense, especially in the first half.
“What an amazing first half — 47 points, that’s pretty impressive for a girls team,” Weitz said. “They played really well together. So you try to convince (our girls) that they may have won this one today by this much, but every day is a new day and it’s a new team. You’re up in the northern territory, and they’re going to be ready to play.”