Miami High forward Melsheree Reid couldnt contain her tears.
Neither could Lourdes guard Tiffany Suarez.
Emotions ran high at the end of a classic girls basketball playoff game between the two rivals Saturday night at Belen Jesuit.
Reid, a hero surrounded by her teammates, moments after she made a layup with six seconds left that propelled Miami High to a 37-35 victory over Lourdes in the Region 4-8A final.
Suarez wept on the ground seconds after a would-be game-tying jumper at the buzzer clanged off the side of the rim ending the chances of the University of Virginia signee being able to finish her stellar career at the state final four.
Miami Highs fans, players and coaches rushed the court in celebration as the Stingarees (24-5) clinched their first trip to state since 2005 the last time they won a state title.
We came through when we needed it and Im just so happy we made it to state, Reid said. I knew I had to make that shot. When I made it I knew we were going to win.
Miami High will play Orlando Colonial Friday at The Lakeland Center in a Class 8A state semifinal at either 7 or 8:30 p.m.
This is unmeasurable, Miami High coach Sam Baumgarten said. This was a game for the ages.
Neither team led by more than five points at any point in the game. There were seven ties and 12 lead changes.
Suarez, one of Miami-Dade Countys best players the past four seasons, had a stellar game in spite of not being able to tie the game at the end. Suarez scored 22 of Lourdes 35 points.
I felt like we had a good season, and that we had the better team, Suarez said. We came back and I thought the shot was going to go in. I felt like it was meant to be for us this year, but it didnt happen.
Miami High center Beatrice Mompremier finished with 12 points, 19 rebounds and five blocks.
But Baumgarten knew his team would need contributions from several role players to beat Lourdes (27-2), a veteran team that was playing in the regional finals for the sixth consecutive season.
Two connected for the winning score as senior CaMaya Pierre drew away the defense and found Reid open near the basket for a layup.
Senior forward Tacoria Smith provided tough defense against Lourdes guards from the outset as she and Reid each finished with four steals.
This was a total team effort by everyone and we knew if we could put this kind of defensive effort we were going to win, Smith said.
The Stingarees defense neutralized another one of the countys best as it held Lourdes center Kiara Palmer, a Long Island University signee, to only two points. Palmer then fouled out with 4:44 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Lourdes appeared ready to pull away early in the fourth quarter taking a 30-25 lead. Thats when Miami High turned to its diminutive, but tough 5-3 senior guard Amanda Mendoza for a turnaround. Mendoza took hard fouls but made her way to the free throw line and made 6 of 8 foul shots to eventually put Miami High ahead for good at 33-31. Suarez hit a jumper and later drew a foul and hit both free throws with 32.7 seconds left to draw Lourdes even at 35.
If Tiffanys shot goes in, we may have had a whole different outcome, but Im very proud of my girls and very happy for Miami High, Lourdes coach Chris McKeon said. Miami-Dade County has great womens basketball and we have coaches that work hard. I wish it didnt come down to both of us with only being able to win.
MHS (24-5): Reid 6, Mendoza 9, Smith 8, Kimbrough 2, Mompremier 12. LOU (27-2): Farinas 5, Palmer 2, Minervino 2, Jordan 4, Suarez 22. Fouled out: Palmer, Kimbrough. Three-pointers: None. Rebounds: Mompremier 19. Assists: Mendoza 5. Steals: Smith, Reid 4.
• Region 4-3A final Miami Country Day 50, Sagemont 48: Despite falling behind by double digits early on and having their leading scorer foul out late, the Miami Country Day Spartans completed a dramatic comeback to defeat Sagemont in the Region 4-3A final.
"Ive always had teams with a never-say-die attitude and that was no different today, Spartans head coach Ochiel Swaby said. The fight was there from everybody and down the stretch our energy level picked up. It was an incredible game."
Danielle Minott led the way for the Spartans with a game-high 22 points, but it was a team effort in the final minutes that put Miami Country Day over the top.
After falling behind by as many as 11 points in the first half, the resilient Spartans stole the momentum in the second half and took the lead with two minutes remaining in the game despite Minott fouling out with 3:27 left in the game.
Down by two with seconds remaining, a last second three-point attempt by Lions guard Kelsey Marshall, who made four three-pointers in the first half for Sagemont, was blocked by Stephanie Mackenzie to send Miami Country Day to the state tournament.
MCD (28-1): B. Blot 6, C. Lewis 3, Mackenzie 8, Minott 22, Swaby 11. SAG (21-9): Black 18, Rucker 2, Griffin 8, Correa 2, Marshall 16. Halftime: SAG 30-24. Three-pointers: Marshall 4. Rebounds: B. Blot 9. Assists: Lewis 7. Steals: Mackenzie, Minott 3.
• Region 4-6A final Norland 69, Naples Barron Collier 37: With a dominant inside offensive presence and a stout defensive performance, theNorland girls basketball team easily defeated Naples Barron Collier 69-37 in the Class 6A regional final.
Featuring a trio of six-footers, the Vikings had a significant size advantage over theCougars. Center Nia Roberts, who had 15 points, 10 rebounds and four steals, dominatedin the post over her smaller opponents.
Defensively, the Vikings relentless defense forced the Cougars into a number of offensive miscues.Leading 15-5 in the second quarter, Norlands defense bullied Barron Collierinto turning the ball over a number of times. The Vikings ended the quarter on a19-5 run, essentially sealing the victory.
Defense is always our focus, Norland coach Carla Harris Curry said. Thats what wepreach. We just feel that if we play the right type of defense, we could be inany game.
Guard Brittany Dinkins had a team-high 20 points, including two three-points.
Every time we step on this courtwe try not to take any plays off, Dinkins said. My job is for me to getscores. Defense is our key, thats how we win.
NBC: Pagkanlungan 12, Jakia Davis 6, Jakella Davis 3, Gorton 4,Frost 7, Ferruci 2, Langham 3. NOR: Dinkins 20, N. Roberts 15, K.Roberts 8, Hilbert 2, Jean-Baptiste 2, Ford 6, McCoy 6, Williams 5, Harvey 3,Vickers 2. Halftime: NOR 34-10. Three-pointers: Jakia Davis, Pagkanlungan 2, Frost 2, Langham, Jakella Davis, Dinkins 2, Harvey. Assists: Ford 7. Rebounds: N. Roberts 10. Steals: N. Roberts,Alexander 3.
Late Friday Miami Christian 14, Island Christian 0 (5)
WP: Cristobal Arenas. Top performers: David Lopez 3-3, HR, 3 RBI. Miguel Perez 2-4, HR, 3 RBI. Laz Gonzalez 2-4, 2 RBI.
Late Thursday Mater Academy 10, Homestead 0 (5)
WP: Michael Mediavilla (1-0). Top performers: Danny Reyes 2-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R. Kevin Abraham 1-2, HR, 2 RBI. Angel Ortiz 2-3, 2 RBI. MA 2-0.
Late Thursday Coral Park 11, Coral Reef 3
WP: Kevin Diaz. Top performers: Reynaldo Ledezma 3-3, 4RBI. Victor Marin 1-3, triple, 3 RBI. Jossuan Gonzalez 1-2, triple, 2RBI. CP 3-1.
Late Thursday Hialeah-Miami Lakes 8, Mourning 1
WP: Bryan Sanchez (1-0). LP: Nicolas Zambrano. Top performers: Sanchez CG, 8 K. Jose Mora 3-4, HR, double, 4 RBI. Marcus Smith 2-4, double. HML 2-0.
Late Thursday Belen 25, Westland 5 (5)
WP: David Villa. Top performers: Niko Fernandez 1-2, triple, 3 RBI. Ivan Botero 1-3, HR, 3 RBI. Alec Acosta 2-2, triple, 2RBI. BEL 2-0. WES 1-1.
Late Thursday Norland 17, Northwestern 2 WP: James McKenney 2 IP, 3 BB, 3 K, 0 H, 0 ER. Top performer: Sensei Jarvis 2-2, 3 R, RBI.
Late Wednesday Archbishop Carroll 10, Jackson 0
WP: Dean Garabedian (2-0). LP: J. Nunez. Top performers: Garabedian 5 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 2 BB, 5 K, BB. Amilcar De Cesare 4-4 2 HR, 2 R, 6 RBI. David Salgueiro 2-3, 4 R. William Roger 1-2, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR. CAR 4-0.
Late Friday Goleman 10, TERRA 0
WP: Vicky Morales (1-1). Top performers: Morales CG, 9 K. Melissa Costero 4-5, 2 RBI, 2 R, SB. Emily Santos 3-5, triple, 4 RBI, 2 R, SB. Vicky Morales 2-3, 3 RBI.
Late Thursday Miami Beach 16, Miami High 4 (5)
WP: Olya Seichrist (2-2). LP: C. Wilson. Top performers: Seichrist 6K; 3-4, 2 SB. D. Guerra 2-3, BB, 2 SB. S. Gonzalez 2-3, BB, 2 SB, M. Loiacano 1-1, 3 BB, 2 SB.
Late Thursday Palmetto 19, Southridge 3 (5)
WP: Amanda Guglietta (3-0). LP: Alyssa Fonda. Top performers: Gaby Spallone 4-5, triple, 3 R, 2 RBI. Samantha Marquez 2-3, double, 2 R, 2 RBI. Guglietta 3-4, double, 2 R, 2 RBI. PAL 3-1.
Late Thursday Palmer Trinity 17, Archbishop Curley 3 (5)
WP: Julian Adrien-Stark (1-0). LP: Tony Yeash. Top performers: Ben Roberts 3-4, triple, 3 R, 4 RBI. Gio Soto 2-3, R, 3 RBI. Keith Macaulay 2-2, triple, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HBP. PT 2-0.
• Late Thursday Miami Country Day 6 La Salle 1: Shaun Berman (MCD) won singles No. 1 8-0. Alec Koss won singles No. 2 8-4. Dani Kassin won singles No. 3 8-3. Max Cohan won singles No. 4 8-4.
• Late Thursday Miami Country Day 7, La Salle 0: Megan Tate won singles No. 1 8-0. Sasha Bass won singles No. 2 8-2. Brooke Pumo won singles No. 3 8-2.