Girls Basketball: Regina Shoots Hot In Win Over Highland
By Michael Bonner and Scott Saville, Reporters
IOWA CITY, Iowa – The formula for winning on the road begins with withstanding the initial storm of energy the home team receives from its crowd. Friday night, Iowa City Regina threw a tsunami at Highland, and the Huskies never recovered.
The Regals buried their first six shots from the field and 11 of their first 15 to shoot Highland out of the building 69-43.
"I don't know we're not always like that. We have off nights like every team, but I don't know," junior Jenna Lehman said. "We came out and things were falling and it really worked for us."
The 73 percent shooting start leaked into the second quarter and lost some momentum, but the Regals still managed to shoot 57percent on the night.
No Regal put on more of a shooting clinic than Lehman. She scored her team's first eight points and finished with a game high 19. She also finished with four rebounds and two assists – tied for team highs in both categories.
"Shooting's contagious," Lehman said. "When someone makes it, other get that and they keep making it. It keeps going."
The shots fell from all over too. The Regals feasted from the outside too drilling five of their first seven 3-pointers.The quick start from deep may have actually hindered the scoring effort, as Regina missed four of its final six to finish 7 of 13 from deep.
"It was great that we came out and shot the ball early, but then we sorta of started settling for outside shots," Regina head coach Clark Anderson said. "You know the saying 'Live by the 3, die by the 3,' I think we did a much better job getting the ball inside in the second half."
Highland managed to hang with Regina even after the onslaught of made field goals. The Huskies trailed by eight at the half and made its first shot – a 3-pointer – of the second half to cut the deficit to five.
"Our girls did a nice job of switching between a more pressing look and then dropping back when they had momentum," Anderson said.
The rotation of pressure helped the Regals get more fastbreak opportunities, which is their first choice of offense.
But it was a 3 that ignited the knockout blow Friday. Lehman made her fourth 3 with 3:59 left in the third. It sparked a 24-6 run that ended with less than 5 minutes remaining in the game and helped Regina advance to the regional final on a quick turnaround Monday to face North Linn at Iowa City West.
"We've been anticipating having a big push here," Anderson said. "Hopefully we've got all our ducks in a row and we'll be good to go on Monday."