The Region finally broke through Monday.
Winless in the first 15 games against the Metro in the Jack Blair Memorial Girls Basketball Classic, the Region not only ended the drought but did so in impressive fashion, leading from start to finish in a 92-74 runaway at Lake City High School.
The Region parlayed an 11-0 start into a 21-3 lead when Camille Reynolds of Lakeland made a three-point play at the 15:34 mark of the first half.
Reynolds, a 5-foot-4 point guard who is headed to North Idaho College, was named most valuable player. She had a game-high 19 points to go with eight rebounds, four steals and one assist.
“I was just out there playing, getting back into the groove of everything,” Reynolds said. “I had a lot of help, obviously. The MVP thing was kind of unexpected.”
Reynolds had a lot of help, indeed. Lake City’s Katie Baker, who is headed to the University of Montana, had 18 points, seven rebounds, three steals, two assists and one block and one of Reynolds’ future teammates at NIC, Amy Warbrick of Coeur d’Alene, chipped in 14 points. Coeur d’Alene junior-to-be post Carli Rosenthal added 13 points to go with eight rebounds.
“We kind of blew them out,” Reynolds said. “They (the Metro) were good, for sure. We were just more prepared I think and had more talent and harder workers. It was just a bunch of fun.”
The Metro trailed by double digits most of the first half until Tia Presley, a junior-to-be guard at Gonzaga Prep, got a putback with 10 seconds remaining before halftime to pull Metro within 44-35.
Lewis and Clark senior forward Jeneva Anderson made back-to-back baskets as Metro got within 46-41 early in the second half. But Metro wouldn’t get any closer.
The Region used a 19-8 run, capped by two free throws from Reynolds with 42 seconds remaining, for the game’s biggest lead at 92-71.
Baker was difficult for Metro to match up with on the perimeter and inside. She predicted a Region victory.
“I told you this was the year,” Baker said afterward. “The chemistry tonight – the start … that was amazing. We had legs, we had speed, we had height and we had intensity. Lots of fun.”
Baker was impressed with Reynolds.
“She just tore it up,” Baker said. “I love (her) intensity and she takes it to the hole everytime. She totally deserved it (MVP).”
CdA coach Dale Poffenroth, who coached the Region, also marveled at Reynolds’ play.
“Camille Reynolds is something else,” Poffenroth said. “Her footspeed is unbelievable.”
Mead senior post Tifa Puletasi of Metro was named the most inspirational player. She had 13 points and was matched in points by Mead senior-to-be guard Jazmine Redmon.