This time there was no last-second drama. Galena made sure of that by making free throws and forcing turnovers in the last minute en route to a 52-43 crossover league win.
“The guys we depend on to put it in the hoop had a couple bad nights,” Reed boys basketball coach Dustin Hall said. “Guys have to step up and start scoring the basketball. We missed a lot of free throws, layups and open jumpers. We’re not going to win too many games scoring 43 points.”
With the score knotted at 39-39 and 4:46 left in the game, the Grizzlies took the lead for good with a 6-0 run.
The Raiders tried to battle back. Alonzo Vega pulled down a weak side rebound and got a putback to fall. Reed then forced a turnover in the backcourt. Devin Gray was fouled on a shot. His two free throws cut the deficit to two, 45-43, with 1:58 to play.
A Caleb Wood floater pushed Galena ahead 47-43, and the Grizzlies grabbed momentum when Reed missed two free throws. The Raiders were able to force another turnover with their press but traveled after collecting the loose ball.
Max Erickson made the first two of five Galena free throws that iced the game in the final minute.
Reed fans who didn’t think their Raiders could possibly score in the 40’s two games in a row were sorely disappointed by the first half.
The first quarter had a decent pace. A three-point play by Trevor Larson with 18 seconds left in the first quarter gave Galena its largest lead of the first half, 13-10.
Reed came running right back down the floor and Vega cut the gap to 13-12 with an off-balance runner.
But then the second quarter dried up all the offense.
After Gray rattled home a 3-pointer 15 seconds into the second quarter, neither team scored for the next three minutes.
During a 34-second span around the three-minute mark, an Ajay Bains trey and Deyraun Stamps layup increased Reed’s lead to 20-15 -- its largest cushion of the first half.
Galena answered with a three-ball from Wood with two minutes to go before the break.
Gray ended the half’s scoring with a fast-break layup, pushing the Raiders ahead 22-18. The two squads combined to connect on six shots and 15 points in the second quarter.
A night earlier, Reed enjoyed a six-point advantage at halftime, only to be held to four points in a dismal third quarter that helped contribute to the 44-42 loss.
The Raiders would score more than four points in the third period Saturday, but it wasn‘t looking good for the first six minutes of the quarter.
Both times Reed increased its edge to six points, Galena had an answer. The first time EJ Poulsen scored back-to-back buckets for the Grizzlies, cutting the deficit to two. The next time, Galena rolled to seven consecutive points to snatch a 29-28 lead with 2:16 left in the third.
A Poulsen baby hook kept the Grizzlies on top by one, 31-30. Vega knocked home a 3-pointer with a minute left, handing the lead back to the hosts, 33-31.
After Galena tied it at 33-33, Gray made sure the Raiders would be on to heading into the fourth, knocking down a pull-up jumper with 2 seconds on the clock.
The Raiders could not build on that 35-33 lead to start the fourth though as Larson laid one up an in at the 6:40 mark of the fourth quarter.
Gray put the Blue and Gold back on top by driving to the hoop for a layup and a 37-35 score with just under six minutes remaining. It was the last lead for the east Sparks school.
Gray and Vega both scored 13 points to lead Reed in the losing cause.
Kirk Gunderson paced Galena with 14 points. Wood added 12 and Poulsen finished with 11.
Reed (12-10, 8-6) will play its final home game of the regular season Tuesday night at 7 p.m. against North Valleys.
“We’re getting down there to the end. We had an opportunity this weekend to really make a move for playoff positioning, but it passed us by,” Hall said. “Monday we’ll have to go back to the gym and get back to work. We need to play our best basketball the next two games.”
In Truckee, the Sparks boys basketball team did its most damage in the first half and cruised to a 53-42 victory.
The Railroaders led 31-14 at halftime and did just enough in the second half to hold on for a double-digit win.
Keiffer Putman and Isaiah Campbell each poured in 15 points after combining for eight 3-pointers.
Sparks hosts Incline at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The Sparks girls fell into a 23-4 hole at halftime and couldn’t dig itself out of it, falling 56-25 to the Wolverines.
Krystal Parker led the Railroaders with 11 points.
Coach Frank Avilla said once the team got rid of the nervousness, it played better in the second half.