Reed improved to 20-6, 13-2 in league games and clinched the league title because it holds a two-game lead over second-place Spanish Springs with just one regular-season game remaining (home against the Cougars on Friday). North Valleys fell to 12-13, 4-11 in league contests.
“Yeah that (winning the league title) is one of the goals we set for ourselves way back when this whole thing started,” Reed coach Dustin Hall said. “They should be proud of themselves. They earned it. They accomplished it. But they do have a bigger picture in mind so they’re focused.”
North Valleys’ Jordin McGuigan hit a 3-pointer on North Valleys' first possession of the game, after a Reed miss, before the Raiders closed the quarter on a 16-4 run .... And it only got worse for the hosts from there.
Reminiscent of Reed’s 77-56 home win over Damonte Ranch last Tuesday, the Raiders were suffocating on the defensive end in the second quarter and outscored the Panthers 20-3. Reed led 36-10 at the break.
Alonzo Vega scored 11 of his 13 points in the second period.
“It (the second quarter) has been good to us. Defensively, it really fueled our offense and we got some easy looks,” Hall said. “Defensively, it was probably our best half (of the year), that one and maybe the Damonte first half. We still struggled shooting the ball a little bit. We never shoot it well up here, but it was a great defensive team effort.”
North Valleys’ Jalil Walker, one of the best scorers in the North, came into the contest averaging 23.8 points per game but was held to 11 -- which led his Panthers team.
Reed’s lengthy defense has propelled its high-scoring offense all season and that was no different Tuesday night. Nine Raiders scored in the win as a result of the strong defensive effort, three in double digits. Trae Wells tallied 15 points while Vega had his 11 and Devin Herbert added 10.
Alec Leighton threw nine points into the mix and Jamel Ramos chipped in eight.
“That was probably one of the better team efforts,” Hall said. “Nobody dominated the ball. The shots were well distributed. Alec (Leighton) came in and made plays, Brendon (Cancino) was making plays (five points). So it was a good team effort.”
Reed outscored North Valleys 20-15 in the third quarter, and took a 56-25 lead into the fourth. Leighton scored all nine of his points in the third quarter after hitting two 3s in seven seconds and hitting all three free throws after getting fouled on a shot behind the arc two possessions after his final trey.
The Raiders extended their lead to as much as 37, at 69-32, with 3:07 left after Colin Steinmetz buried a pair of free throws. North Valleys then closed the game on a mini 4-0 run.
Tuesday’s 69-36 win was the eighth time this season Reed held an opponent to 45 points or less.
Despite Friday’s home meeting with Spanish Springs bearing no weight on Reed’s playoff seeding, Hall said he is not worried about a letdown against the rivals.
Reed lost at Spanish Springs 36-33 Jan. 21. Wells did not play in the game for Reed because of a sprained ankle.
“That game could be for eight place, or first place, or anything in between and both teams are going to fight tooth and nail. Neither team wants to lose to the other,” Hall said. “So it would be, I imagine, a good atmosphere and it will almost feel like a championship game.”
The Raiders and Cougars tip off at 7 p.m.