Even though the Austin High women’s basketball team never lost a District 26-6A morning game against a visit to Lake Travis on January 3, the Maroons also never felt comfortable.
And that’s okay with Aubrey Reed, the Maroons’ senior defensive end and point guard who helped Austin High go undefeated in county play with a hard-fought 46-41 win.
“From the start of the game, we knew it was going to be one of the toughest matches,” Reed said. “I mean they (Lake Travis) are a good team. We let them come back to us, but we stuck to our game plan. I believe that in the end we play very well together. We can overcome everything.”
Reed and her teammates had to overcome a furious finish by Mia Galbraith and her Cavalier teammates, who ended the series 7-0 in under a minute to tie at 40-39 with 35 seconds left in the game. Galbraith, an Oklahoma State rookie at quarterback, scored just six points before the fourth period, when he was chased by Jade Kluck and the Maroons defense. But she came to life late, hitting a lane jumper, a three-pointer and a pair of free throws in a 7-0 Cavs spurt.
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But Reid and No. 3 Austin High (20-3, 7-0 District 26-6A) showed the balance of pressure needed to win district titles and make the playoffs. After missing a 1-on-1 front with 27 seconds left in the game, Reed made all six free throws throughout the stretch to secure the win.
Reed, who joined Clack and twin sister Chanel as a four-year rookie with the Maroons, says she played more than 100 varsity games in her prep career, which prepared her for those late-game moments.
“Four years at university and especially four years as a starting point guard taught me how to deal with pressure,” she said. “In situations like this, I stay calm. And I have teammates, my coaches and everyone in the stands supporting me.”
Reed finished the game with a career-high 13 points, five assists and five steals, while her twin Chanel added seven points and nine rebounds. Kluck, daughter of Austin High head coach Emerald Amen and former Texas men’s basketball star Chris Kluck, had six points and 11 boards, including a late offensive rebound from a missed free throw to seal the win.
The trio may not play together again after this season, but in a sense they will reunite in North Texas. Kluck promised TCU, Chanel Reed would play SMU, and Aubrey Reed would dress up as UT-Arlington. Before that, though, the American statesman’s No. 1 team wants a playoff worthy of its high rankings.
“We have high hopes for the season, so we give our best in every game,” said Aubrey Reid. “We’ll go through the county, do our best in the playoffs, and try to make it to the state.”
Austin High has gone 170-48 with four district titles since the start of the 2016-17 season but hasn’t made it past the third round of the playoffs in six years.
Lake Travis coach Kevin Bassinger also has big playoff hopes for his team despite the loss. Galbraith had one of the highest scoring games of the season, but Lake Travis (17-8, 5-2) held tight, eight points behind Regan Hassenfratz and Claire Kolkhorst. Bassinger praised his team for fighting to the end, but his reflections after the game were interrupted by an altercation between his parents, which led to the gym being quickly emptied.
Nothing tougher than a few insults was thrown, but the exchange was indicative of a short but intense streak with Austin High now leading 10-9.
“They’re going to have fun,” an Austin High School parent exclaimed loudly as he left the gym.
The two teams will play again on February 3 at Lake Travis High School. Lake Travis will enter his next game against Del Valle on January 6, tied for third in the district race with Westlake or Bowie, who met on January 3.