RENO — Christina Gough slinked to the absolute corner of the court, away from all the Silverado defenders and into her comfort zone.
Like she has done so many times this season — 77 in all, tied for third in Nevada history — she fired a 3-pointer into the net.
But this one was special.
Gough’s shot midway through the third quarter gave Reno a 37-35 lead, one it would not relinquish in its 58-51 victory over Silverado on Thursday in the Class 4A girls state basketball semifinals at Lawlor Events Center. The Huskies will play Bishop Gorman in the final at 6 tonight.
“We knew where she was, and we knew we wanted to sag back,” Skyhawks coach Diane Hernandez said. “We were more concerned with the attack they were giving us. We hoped we could get back if they kicked it to her, and that was one she nailed down.”
Added Reno coach Shane Foster: “She’s as good a shooter as there is, period.”
The shot sparked a 17-6 run by the Huskies, a burst that would determine the game. Playing a game of keep-away with Silverado guard Shea Collins in the third quarter, Reno (29-3) effectively stifled the Skyhawks’ offense.
Collins was limited to four of her game-high 24 points in the third as Foster had his guards pressure the sophomore.
“We tried to take the ball out of Collins’ hands and let somebody else bring it up, which we were hoping would throw a little monkey wrench in getting into any type of sets,” Foster said. “Then things got a little more up-tempo in the second half.”
Which is just what Foster wanted.
Early in the game, Silverado (26-10) was able to toss it down low, finding success with Mikayla Thielges in the post despite Reno’s size advantage with 6-foot-3-inch Abby Boorman and 6-2 Elizabeth Messick. Thielges had eight points and eight rebounds in the first half, but just two free throws and four rebounds in the second.
“We got the ball into the post players like we needed, but they were getting a lot of touches on our shots,” Hernandez said. “We really didn’t adjust, and they weren’t giving up the baseline. Then we just weren’t going inside (in the second half).”
Contact reporter Jon Gold at email@example.com or (702) 380-4587.