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Monster second quarter lifts Raiders over Mustangs
by Nathan Shoup
Feb 05, 2014 | 873 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - Trae Wells puts up a shot in the first half of Reed's 77-56 home win over Damonte Ranch Tuesday night. Wells finished with 28 points, leaving him with 62 points in Reed's last two contests.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - Trae Wells puts up a shot in the first half of Reed's 77-56 home win over Damonte Ranch Tuesday night. Wells finished with 28 points, leaving him with 62 points in Reed's last two contests.
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The Reed boys basketball team played arguably its most complete game of the season Tuesday night and claimed a 77-56 home win over Damonte Ranch, the second-place team in the Sierra League.

The Raiders improved to 18-6, 11-2 in league games while Damonte fell to 15-7, 9-4.

Reed led 9-6 early in the first quarter but closed the initial period on an 11-2 run before causing absolute mayhem in the second quarter with its full-court press, outscoring the Mustangs 28-11. The Raiders led 48-19 at the break.

“It was a great team effort tonight. I thought the first half was one of our better halves of basketball this year,” Reed coach Dustin Hall said. “We forced the tempo we wanted. Guys attacked and finished plays early so that first half was one of the better halves we played.

“We were able to force some turnovers, got some deflections, got some easy baskets so the guys were really active tonight. They were ready to play.”

After scoring 34 points in a win at Hug on Friday, Trae Wells continued to make his case for league MVP, piling up 28 points. Wells was held to five points in the first quarter, largely because he was kicking the ball out at the rim, before exploding for 12 in the game-deciding second quarter.

“He is aggressive. When he can get downhill, he is tough to guard because he is so strong,” Hall said. “But he is still doing a great job of finding his teammates. Trae is playing outstanding basketball right now for us.”

With Wells doing the majority of interior penetration for the Reed offense, sharp-shooting point guard Jamel Ramos was able catch and shoot, or drive, coming off screens and finishing with 14 points.

“If you would have told me we were going to be up (29) at the half, I would have said you’re crazy,” Hall said. “But you know, at the same time, we have played basketball like that at times this year where we’ve gotten on a roll so I wasn’t too surprised.”

Alonzo Vega also found double digits, turning in 11 points.

Hall called off the full-court pressure in the third quarter with his team up 29 and Damonte won its lone quarter of the night, 18-11.

Hall said he wanted to see how his team would handle the half-court game against a team that will have its say come playoff time. Damonte opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run before splitting the final 18 points of the quarter.

Reed started the fourth quarter on an 11-0 run and grabbed its biggest lead of the night, 70-37, with 6:02 left after a pair of Vega free throws. Damonte outscored Reed 19-7 after the Vega freebies to close out the game.

The Raiders hold a two-game lead over Spanish Springs for the High Desert League title with three games remaining – home against McQueen, at North Valleys and home against Spanish Springs.

Despite the aroma of a league title starting to waft around the Reed gym (barring a late-season collapse), Hall said his group is not taking anything for granted.

“We haven’t talked much about it,” Hall said. “We do want the home playoff game … So we are still trying to take it day by day, one game at a time, all the cliché stuff. But we do know the season is winding down and I think the kids are playing with a little more urgency.”

The Raiders play the first of the final three league games Friday at home against the Lancers. A win guarantees at least a share of the league crown for the Raiders. Tip is at 7 p.m.

Will Reed hang on and win the High Desert League title?


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