Although it has been over nine months since the Raiders celebrated their state championship on the floor at Lawlor Events Center, Reed picked up right where it left off back in February. Behind a strong defensive performance that held visiting Galena scoreless over an 18-minute span from the second quarter into the fourth, the Raiders coasted to a 69-14 victory on Tuesday afternoon.
“I thought our defense looked pretty good,” Reed coach Sara Schopper-Ramirez said. “We got turnovers from our traps and our man-to-man, and that gave us easy looks. I was pleased with the way they finished. They finished the layups and easy buckets and they dominated the boards. I saw our guards in there rebounding, so that was good. I still see a lot of stuff we need to improve on, but obviously it’s the first game. Overall they worked hard and they got after it. They didn’t let down.”
Seconds after the opening tip, the Raiders were on the scoreboard as junior Megan Dettling put home a layup to start the contest. Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, the rapid strike by Reed would prove to be a sign of things to come.
Running into a full-court press from by the Raiders, Galena handed the ball over to Reed on play after play. Before the Grizzlies knew what hit them, they were staring at a scoreboard that read 19-0 in favor of the home team. Galena finally recorded a field goal with 4:24 remaining in the first quarter, but the damage was already done.
Behind three consecutive steals and layups by junior Gabby Williams, Reed strung together a 12-3 spurt to close out the first quarter with a 31-5 advantage.
The momentum from the first carried over into the second quarter as the Raiders went on a 9-2 run that was closed out with a trio of scores from junior Tyler Sumpter. That pushed their lead to 40-7 with 5:11 until halftime. Aside from a pair of Grizzlies’ free throws, Reed would score the next nine points to initiate the 40-point running clock rule as the Raiders went into the intermission with a 49-9 lead.
While the small gathering of Galena supporters probably did not think things could get worse in the second half, they did for the Grizzlies.
With the clock stopping only for timeouts or injuries, the third quarter cruised by with the Raiders netting just eight points. Unfortunately for the visiting squad, they were unable to find the bottom of the basket as Reed pushed its advantage to 57-9.
In the fourth, the Raiders scored the first 10 points of the quarter to add to their outburst. With less than a minute to play, Galena finally managed to put away a bucket as it made a pair in the final 50 seconds to result in the final of 69-14.
Although the Raiders won comfortably, Schopper-Ramirez said she saw plenty from her team that needs to be addressed.
“We need to work on executing our offense, especially our man-to-man offense. Toward the end there, we didn’t know exactly where to be,” she said. “They threw the man at us and we kind of didn’t know where to go. That’s understandable though in the first game of the season.”
Williams led the way for the Raiders victory, tallying 16 points along with six steals, four blocks and four rebounds. Sumpter scored a game-high 21 points while Brooke Cervantes totaled eight points. Nakiyah LeSure also chipped in for the victory, coming away with five steals and five rebounds.
Reed will return to action Friday at Douglas with tip set for 5:15 p.m.