Chantel Heath hobbled around, Kelsey Moos fought foul trouble and Reardan entered halftime trailing Northwest Christian by two points.
Moos scored 28 points, Heath added 17 and Reardan (29-1) shot 13 for 20 from the floor in the second half to claim its third consecutive State 2B girls basketball title by stopping NWC 67-52 at the Arena on Saturday night.
Moos and Heath, two of Reardan’s five seniors, combined for 15 of the Indians’ final 18 points after NWC (23-7) made its final run to pull within four points with 5:55 left.
“It’s amazing,” said Heath, Reardan’s point guard, who aggravated an ankle injury early in the second quarter. “There’s no other way I would have had it. I just can’t believe that we actually did it again, because that was our goal and this is wonderful.”
“The first two (titles) were great, but there’s something about the third one, being a senior and knowing it’s your last chance,” said Moos, who picked up her third foul late in the third quarter and her fourth halfway through the fourth.
Reardan defeated NWC five times during the season. NWC had advanced to its first title game with a buzzer-beating layup during Friday night’s semifinal against Pe Ell.
The teams traded 9-0 first-half runs. NWC took a 13-8 first-quarter lead with its run, and Moos and Heath scored all nine points during Reardan’s second-quarter run for a 19-17 lead.
Moos played point guard while Heath rested on the bench. When Heath returned, she changed her style slightly.
“We tried getting me to spot up, so I didn’t have to run and dribble and back in as much,” Heath said. “We let (Moos) take over and kind of switched spots.”
“Kelsey can play the point,” Reardan coach Ed Shields said. “She can play any of the five spots. She’s been an incredible basketball player for us.”
NWC led 24-22 at halftime, powered by Courtney Gray’s eight points and Chanel Knight’s seven, but Reardan opened the second half with a 6-0 run and never trailed again. Charlene Gray, Moos, Tori Wynecoop and Heath hit 3-pointers during the third quarter to boost the Indians’ lead to double digits.
“We’ve been down before,” Shields said. “It’s not new to us, but we’re a second-half team. We’re so physically strong and we pound things inside. Most teams can play with us for a half, but we separate ourselves in the second half.”
Gray helped NWC stay within striking distance by scoring eight points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth on her way to 25 points. She had five points in 55 seconds early in the final quarter to trim Reardan’s lead to 46-42, but Gray and Heath answered with 3-pointers to push the lead to double digits for good.
Moos also had 15 rebounds, twice as many as any player. She turned her attention to playing for Arizona State of the Pac-12.
“It’s definitely sad (leaving Reardan), but I have a great opportunity ahead of me, so I can’t help but be super excited,” Moos said.