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Reed boys rout Reno
by Nathan Shoup
Jan 24, 2014 | 796 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Reed boys basketball coach Dustin Hall is a perfectionist. After nearly every game, win or loss, he can create a laundry list of things his teams needs to improve at.

He had a hard time with that list Friday night.

His Raiders played arguably their best game of the season, in front of the biggest student section of the season, and improved to 15-5, 8-1 in league games with a convincing 68-40 win over Reno. The Huskies fell to 12-7, 6-3 in league contests.

Reed played for the first time since dropping its first league game of the season, 36-33, Tuesday at Spanish Springs. Trae Wells, Reeds’ leading scorer, was playing his first game after sitting out in a non-league loss to Lowry and in the league loss the Cougars with a sprained ankle.

“I think with the circumstances coming off the performance we had on Tuesday, it was definitely our best game just for these guys to bounce back,” Hall said. “Every time you lose, you start to doubt yourself a little bit. All in all it was our best performance to bounce back from that loss Tuesday. We fought tonight.”

Wells wore a brace on his sprained ankle and Hall said his horse is not yet at 100 percent. Despite not being completely healthy, the senior scored a game-high 22 points, 14 before the half.

“It’s nice to have Trae back. He does so much for us and everybody knows it and our guys know it,” Hall said. “It’s not just his scoring … He creates so much, he draws so much attention, he defends, he rebounds … It hurt him to sit there on Tuesday and watch and I think the fact we looked so bad made him want to play. So that’s a credit to him just toughing it out and playing through it.”

Reno’s Zach Puzey scored on the Huskies’ first possession of the game but Reed responded with a 14-2 run and left its foot on the accelerator all night. Wells’ 26-foot bomb as time expired at the end of the first quarter put Reed in front 17-7 and was only a sign of things to come.

Jamel Ramos drilled consecutive three balls at the end of the second quarter and put Reed in front 38-16 going into the break. Ramos finished 17 points.

The lead ballooned to as much as 36 (66-30), four points from the running clock mercy rule, with 4:40 left in the game after an Alec Leighton (nine points) three pointer.

Reno and Reed met in both squad’s High Desert League opener Dec. 19 at Reno and though Reed pulled that one out, it could not have looked more different. Reed improved to 1-0 in the HDL that night after narrowly holding off the Huskies, 50-48.

“I think some of our guys are in a little bit better basketball shape,” Hall said. “I think we are starting to trust each other a little bit, the mall moves a little bit more crisp.”

Undoubtedly playing a factor in the difference between the two contests was the absence of arguably Reno’s best player, Jakob Rolling (12.9 points per game).

“Obviously they weren’t the same team,” Hall said. “They’re still a very good team and we still respect them and I wouldn’t be surprised if we see them again in a playoff situation.”

Connor Bush led the Huskies with 12 points and Kyle Mahaffey chipped in 10.

With Reed leading 46-20 midway through the third quarter, and the outcome of the game nearly set in stone, Wells and Alzonzo Vega (nine points) turned the lights out and put it to bed.

Twenty eight feet from the rim, Wells through a perfect pass near the rim that Vega dramatically elevated for and threw down, sending the massive white-out student section into a frenzy.

“Everyday he (Vega) jumps a little bit higher,” Hall said. “A month ago we had that play and he was catching it and barely dunking it (in practice) so we haven’t called it all season until tonight. In the first half he tried a lay in and missed it. We kind of got on him at halftime and teased him a little bit so he went up and got that one. It was nice.”

Reed has a quick turnaround and plays Saturday at Galena. Tip is at 1:30 p.m.

The Raiders lost to the Grizzlies, 56-45, in the Rail City Classic on Dec. 14.

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