Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, Feb. 22, 2013 | 9:05 p.m.
Reno senior Gigi Hascheff remembered the feeling of losing the state championship last season. Aside from the obvious tears, Hascheff keyed in on another aspect of losing the title game.
"It was quiet," Hascheff said. "You never want a locker room to be that quiet. It's never a good feeling to put in all that work, and to feel, not necessarily, that it didn't pay off."
Those memories of a quiet, tear-filled locker room can fade to black, however, and the disappointment of finishing second moves onto the shoulders of Bishop Gorman.
Reno won its first state championship since 2001 with a 52-39 victory against Gorman in the Division I girls' state championship basketball game Friday at the Orleans Arena.
Naturally, Hascheff, who led all scorers with 20 points, offered words of encouragement to the Gaels.
"Gorman has to keep their heads up. We went through the same thing last year," Hascheff said. "We had one goal and kept to that goal. We busted our butts and won a state championship."
The sting of losing the final game of the season was visible, but Gorman coach Sheryl Krmpotich managed to express how she felt about her team for putting up a fight, especially late.
"I'm proud to be their coach," Krmpotich said. "I wouldn't want it any other way. Other than, hopefully, we would have won."
The Gaels finish the season 21-10.
Seniors Tonishia Childress and April Rivers wrapped up their prep careers for the Gaels. Childress led Gorman with 16 points, while Rivers added eight.
"I hate seeing April and T go out like that. They're great kids and great leaders. They played amazing," Krmpotich said. "
The Gaels' future looks bright, however, as most of the players who saw the floor are set to return next season, namely freshmen Raychel Stanley and Megan Jacobs, who played a lot of minutes in the state championship.
Stanley scored three points, but was a force inside, pulling down 16 rebounds. Jacobs scored five points.
"That's the future," Krmpotich said. "The future is bright at Gorman."
Until the Gaels get their next chance at a state championship — quite possible, given that more than half the team were freshmen — they will look back at the 2013 state title game and wonder, "What if?"
Specifically, what if some of the shots that did everything but go swish went down?
The Gaels shot 24 percent from the floor (13-of-55) with a 25 percent clip from 3-point land.
"Shots weren't falling," Krmpotich said. "I think the stage would have been different had those shots fallen."
After a Childress layup gave Gorman its first and only lead of the game at 20-19, the Huskies (27-3) went on a 12-0 run to push their lead back up to 11, led by Hascheff's five points. She scored 10 in the third quarter.
Reno maintained the lead until the clock hit zeroes.
"The feeling I had last year, I didn't want to have it again this year," Hascheff said.