CEDAR CITY — Shaylee Reed’s nicknames seem more suited for MacGyver or a handyman, but they work for Reed — and they especially work for Snow Canyon’s girls basketball team.
Whether she’s being referred to as a Swiss Army knife or duct tape, Reed is the glue that holds everything together for the Warriors, and she turned in another excellent performance in the 3A semifinals at Southern Utah on Friday.
The senior scored a game-high 17 points and contributed to Snow Canyon’s dominant performance defensively as the Warriors rolled past Pine View for the 59-32 victory.
“We have some really good players on the team, but Shaylee is the glue. . she fixes everything,” said Snow Canyon coach Daniel Roden.
With Snow Canyon leading scorer Madison Mooring visibly dragging as she continues her two-week struggle with the flu, Reed picked up the scoring slack among many other things on Friday.
“She works so hard, her energy rubs off on the girls. She’s a natural leader, she’s just a skilled athlete she makes all the difference for us,” said Roden.
With Friday’s victory, Snow Canyon advances to Saturday’s state championship game at 12:30 p.m. against Cedar.
It was only fitting that defense was the catalyst to Snow Canyon’s semifinal win because it’s been one of the keys throughout its 23-win season.
“We talked all November, the only way you girls are going to reach your potential is if you play defense. They bought into that and understood we couldn’t outscore somebody every single night,” said Roden.
They did both on Friday in beating region foe Pine View for the third time this season.
Defensively Snow Canyon held Pine View to just 28 percent shooting and forced 18 turnovers.
Leading just 16-15 midway through the second quarter, the Warriors held Pine View to one field goal the rest of the half to build a 26-17 lead.
The lead hovered around 10 points throughout the third quarter, but things got out of hand quickly in the fourth quarter. Highlighted by Nikenna Durante’s fourth 3-pointer of the game, the Warriors opened the fourth on a 10-0 and never looked back as it held Pine View to just five points.
Durante finished with 14 points in her best shooting performance of the season.
“By her standards she’s kind of struggled all year. Last year she was right up around 40 percent from 3-point range. This year she’s been high 20s. Today it just finally clicked. Told her to stay confident, keep shooting, keep shooting, and she did. She didn’t hesitate,” said Roden.
With Pine View struggling to buy a bucket all game, Snow Canyon had no troubles whatsoever shooting 50 percent from the field as it moved to within one game of winning its first state title since 2012.
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: [email protected]