After trailing by as much as eight in the first half, Reed led by as much as five in the fourth quarter but was stuck with a 60-51 loss at Galena Saturday afternoon.
Reed fell to 15-6, 8-2 and now shares its spot atop the High Desert League with Spanish Springs, although the Cougars hold the tiebreaker. Spanish Springs topped Reed, 36-33, on Tuesday. Galena improved to 13-6, 8-2.
The loss came a day after a convincing 68-40 home win over Reno. Reed coach Dustin Hall didn't think the short turnaround was an excuse.
“I don’t think it should be (an excuse). I think they are 16- and 17-year-old kids who just felt a little too good about themselves after last night’s game and they just didn’t show up with the right mentality and didn’t show up ready to fight,” Hall said.
Galena won 49-38 at Carson Friday night.
Trailing nearly the entire game, Reed grabbed its first lead, 34-31, since early in the first quarter with 3:50 left in the third on an Alonzo Vega three ball.
The Raiders built the lead up to 46-41 at the four-minute mark in the fourth quarter after a Trae Wells layup before the wheels fell off, and the axles for that matter.
Wells, who finished with 22 points, 16 in the second half, was scoring nearly at will before getting tagged with his fifth foul with 3:37 left, trying to box out Galena’s Zack Lessinger.
With its hot hand watching the final 207 seconds from the bench, Reed watched Galena go on a 15-0 run before Vega hit a pair of free throws with 31 seconds left. Vega finished with a team-high 23 points.
Galena connected on 16-of-18 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter alone. Reed hit half of its six free-throw attempts.
Zack Lessinger, the Grizzlies' big man, gave the Reed defensive interior all kinds of trouble, resulting in 14 free-throw attempts. He connected on 11 of them. Lessinger finished with a game-high 25 points and hit all eight of his freebies in the final eight minutes.
“He’s really good. He’s skilled. He can score with his back to the basket. There are not a lot of guys in this league (the North) that are comfortable with their back to the basket,” Hall said. “So he’s tough and he really played well against us today. We didn’t do a good job on him.”
Reed trailed 23-19 at the half, scoring just eight points in the first quarter, before exploding for 22 points in the third quarter. Wells scored 14 of those.
“We got a little more aggressive. We tweaked the zone offense a little bit and found some gaps,” Hall said. “We started getting stops for a little bit and got out in transition but didn’t get enough stops.”
Reed will try to end its recent struggles Tuesday on the road against a Carson team that is 8-6 overall, 5-2 in league games.
“We just have to get tougher and more disciplined,” Hall said. “Today we were lazy, a lot of reaching, a lot of slapping. We weren’t solid. We didn’t sit down and work.”