Kingman High’s Taylor Reed pulls up for a jumper while Kim Carroll (40) gets ready for a rebound during the Lady Bulldogs’ win over Lake Havasu Thursday at KHS, 54-49. Reed finished with a game-high 28 points.
KINGMAN - The Kingman High girls basketball team found themselves in a little bit of trouble Thursday trailing by one point with three minutes remaining against Lake Havasu, but senior Taylor Reed came to the rescue, scoring the final nine points and pulling down a key rebound as the Lady Bulldogs escaped the Lady Knights, 54-49.
"I didn't care what I had to do to beat Havasu," Reed said. "I was going to do whatever. Even with two starters fouled out, we finished strong."
Reed sank a 15-footer, a two-footer, and made 5-of-6 free-throws in those three minutes for Kingman (6-0), and when Havasu's Alexis Whittaker missed a five-footer with 20 seconds left and the Lady Bulldogs up by one, 49-48, it was Reed who pulled down the rebound.
"There were moments when my girls could have given up, but they didn't," said KHS coach Danny Gonzalez. "That makes me proud to be their coach. We needed this challenge."
Kingman won its previous three games by an average margin of 38 points, but Havasu (1-2) hung tough with the Lady Bulldogs by starting the game with a full-court press and having a size advantage in the paint.
"They were big," senior Rachel Arave said. "But we've learned in practice to sit on their knees and be stronger."
Arave had a significant game and nearly recorded a double-double. She finished with 12 points and nine rebounds. Familiarity was the key for the girls on the floor Thursday.
"We've been playing them since the sixth grade in middle school," Arave said. "We know each other's game. They played up, but we didn't play where we should be."
Reed said the Lady Bulldogs might have let their guard down against Havasu.
"We've always beaten them by at least 10, so we may have expected that again," Reed said. "But we showed them whose house this is."
For the first time this season, Kingman trailed at the end of the first quarter, 10-9. The Lady Bulldogs trailed by as many as five in the second, but ended the first half on a 6-0 run to tie it at intermission, 22-22. But a bigger problem lingered for the Lady Bulldogs.
Kingman's leading scorer Desirae Gonzalez picked up her third foul in the first minute of the second quarter and would see limited time in the game before fouling out in the fourth. Gonzalez finished with eight points.
Starting point guard Alison Owen found herself in foul trouble as well, fouling out in the fourth with two minutes remaining. Owen scored five and had five assists.
"That group at the end, including Kim Carroll, were comfortable, didn't panic, and got their opportunities," the coach said. "Lake Havasu wanted to play us hard, and they did. We showed them what we have in our bag of tricks."
Kingman outscored Havasu by five in third quarter and led, 38-33. The Lady Bulldogs led 45-39 with 4:30 remaining, but the Lady Knights went on a 9-2 tear over the next 2:30 to take that one-point lead. Taylor Yost led Havasu with 12 points.
On Friday at the River Valley Tournament in Mohave Valley, Desirae Gonzalez scored 26 points, Reed had 19, and Arave netted 10 in a quarterfinal win over Fallbrook, Calif., 58-44.
The Lady Bulldogs then had a rematch with Havasu in the semifinals with Kingman winning easily, 49-27. Reed scored 26 points in the win. The Lady Bulldogs faced Mohave in the championship late Saturday. Final results of the tournament were not available by deadline.
Kingman hosts Phoenix Sierra Linda (6-0) in its next regular-season contest at 7 p.m. Monday.