Reardan girls open state with easy win
Ed Smith wants to keep some things on the down low, at least until Saturday night.
The Reardan girls basketball coach has his team primed and ready for a three-peat, and any talk about how these are the final games for his talented senior class, especially the team’s standout, do-everything post, Kelsey Moos, is discouraged.
“We’re not talking about it,” he said. “We’ve got one job, and that’s to win our third championship. Everything else is secondary.”
Reardan (27-1) accomplished step one of that plan Thursday, rolling over a talented White Swan team 60-22 to set up a semifinal match-up with Morton-White Pass, which knocked off DeSales, 35-31.
Still, it’s hard to overlook what Reardan’s five seniors have accomplished as they cruised past a team that would otherwise be considered a contender in another year.
Charlene Gray, Chantel Heath, Tori Wynecoop, Katy Burge and, especially, Moos, won their 79th game under Smith, who became their head coach in their sophomore year and led them to their first state title.
“If you add in their freshman year, and they were a very talented freshman team that won something like 24 games, they’ve won more than 100 games together,” Smith said. “I’d have to look it up, but in the last three years they’re something like 80-0 in our league. I’m obviously biased and I don’t mean anything against any of the other great teams that have played at Reardan or in the state, but I’d argue this is the best class the B’s have ever had.”
That debate, too, will have to wait.
Against White Swan, the Reardan defense kept the clamps on the whole game, allowing just a field goal in the first quarter and only 10 points in the first half. The Indians held a 36-22 advantage on the boards and had a dozen steals.
The offense was solid as the team shot better than 55 percent from the field, including 6 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc.
“We shot the ball awfully well,” Smith said. “We don’t run any set offensive plays, per se. I give them offensive sets that we like to run and they’re very good at running them.”
The two-time Class 2B player of the year and an early signee to play at Arizona State next year, Moos scored 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds before taking a seat with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Burge, a 6-foot-2 post, added 11 points and Wynecoop, a 5-3 guard, added 10.
What’s most impressive about this Reardan team is how much the entire team has adopted the personality of its leading scorer.
Since bursting onto the scene as an unflappable freshman, Moos has played with an air of both poise and calm. From the look on her in-game face, it would be hard to tell whether Reardan was up by 20 or down by same deficit.
“Leadership is a great thing and this group of seniors are excellent leaders,” Smith said. “There’s no doubt about it, Kelsey sets the standard for this team.”