However, the Blue and Gold had to reach down and grab something extra during two spurts to toss the Senators aside for a 76-51 victory in its home opener.
“They’re a scrappy team. They’re never going to let down,” Reed girls basketball coach Sara Schopper said. “They’re going to dive on the floor for loose balls and get rebounds. I expected them to be feisty and that’s what they were. We knew they were going to be quick and they have some shooters.
“We were hoping to get them to turn it over and score on some turnover points. I knew they didn’t have a big girl for Nyasha (LeSure). In the first half we didn’t finish enough with her, but in the second half we found her and it was an easy game, inside-out.”
Reed built the 8-0 edge thanks to its full-court pressure, leading to a Carson timeout. The Senators coaching staff solved something in that short time because the players began executing and picked apart the Raiders’ traps.
After a Gabby Williams steal and coast-to-coast layup made it a 12-2 game, Carson cut the deficit in half with a Whitney Nash 3-pointer and an elbow jumper by Lisa Yamamoto with 3:31 left in the first quarter.
The Raiders pushed the lead back up to eight on a fast-break layup by Joanna Phillips, but Carson answered with a pair of buckets in the final 1:10 of the period, a wide-open layup down low by Nash after breaking a trap and a 3-pointer from the corner by Eliza Matley.
Reed still led 17-14 heading into the second quarter, but the Senators were enjoying their new confidence.
At the 6:10 mark of the second quarter, Savannah Smith swished a trey, tying the game at 19-19.
The game was still tied at 23-23 following a putback by Yamamoto with 4:54 to go in the first half.
The Senators had two chances to claim their first lead of the game but an air ball and a missed 3-pointer left the game tied and Reed was off to the races, scoring 11 straight to regain control for good.
The 34-25 margin with 2:35 left before the break was the closest the game would ever get.
Reed held a 39-27 advantage at the half.
Both teams traded 6-0 runs in the third quarter and the Raiders didn’t gain much ground on the scoreboard until they held the Senators to eight points in the final eight minutes.
Reed increased its 56-43 edge at the end of the third quarter to 66-43 before Carson knocked down a free throw past the midway point of the fourth quarter.
It didn’t get any better for the visitors as the Raiders outscored them 20-8 in the fourth.
The RHS cagers’ biggest lead came with 49 seconds to play when Williams scored down low, making it 76-48.
But Kaitlyn Holmes drained a 3-pointer to close out the scoring with 36 seconds on the game clock.
“We played a full-court game tonight. They were pressing us and we were pressing them,” Schopper said. “Toward the end I think we did get them worn down. We controlled the ball a little bit better and played our game instead of the back-and-forth kind of game.”
Nyasha LeSure led all scorers with 20 points. Fourteen of those came in the second half. Teammates Micah Walker and Williams added 18 points apiece. Sierra Hooft finished in double figures as well with 11 in the winning cause.
Nash was the only Carson player in double figures. She had 13, including three of her team’s seven 3-pointers.
Reed (2-0) opens the High Sierra Winter Challenge at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Spanish Springs against Spring Creek.
Reed 45, Carson 40
The Raider boys were just coming off a seventh place out of eight teams finish at Carson High’s annual Capital Classic last week.
But Reed did not get to meet the tourney hosts. That all changed when Carson came to the Rail City Tuesday night only to be dealt a Northern 4A prep boys basketball defeat.
It was a see-saw battle in the first half. Reed grabbed a slim 11-10 lead after the first eight minutes. But it wasn’t until the closing minutes of the first half that the home team could enjoy a cushion.
After Carson tied it at 18-18 on two free throws by Chris Steele with 2:47 left in the half, AJ Silva answered with a 3-pointer and Eric Martinez followed suit with a trey of his own on back-to-back trips down the floor. The score would remain 24-18 for the final two minutes of the half and the Senators went into the locker room looking for a way to erase the six-point gap.
Instead, it was the Raiders who came out and increased their lead after the intermission.
Back-to-back three-point bombs by Martinez and Kyle Ross forged Reed ahead to a game-high 32-20 score a minute and a half into the third period.
It took Carson four and a half minutes to hit its first field goal of the second half, but the tide started to turn as the third quarter ended.
A pair of Senator free throws in the final minute of the third started what turned into a 9-0 spurt that cut Reed’s lead down to 35-33.
Carson could not find the equalizer.
“It feels great. It wasn’t pretty. At times we executed and looked good and at times we became sloppy and dirty and made just enough plays to hang on for the win,” Reed boys basketball coach Dustin Hall said. “We haven’t had many opportunities for late-game situations, so it’s new to a lot of these guys. Part of it’s my fault because in practice we’re not getting a lot of reps. It was a tough win, a team win and we’ll take it.”
The Senators did make Raider fans sweat though after the hosts went back up by eight midway through the fourth on Martinez’s third trey of the night. The Raiders knocked down eight shots from behind the arc as a team.
A Trey Jensen 3-pointer made it a 41-36 game. It was 41-37 after Tyrel Keefer sank a free throw.
Over two minutes went by without the score changing, but when Reed’s Roberto Velazquez turned the ball over in the backcourt and then fouled Brian Barnes as he converted a layup, Carson pulled to within one on the three-point play, 41-40, with 52 seconds on the clock.
But Carson didn’t score again.
Reed can attribute the win to its outside shooting, which contributed to over half the offense.
“It seemed like all of them were right after Carson hit a bucket and we needed a good possession,” Hall said. “Guys stepped up and knocked down some key jump shots. We don’t shoot a lot of threes as a team but tonight I would say we shot at a high percentage and they were all at the right time.”
Ross paced the Raiders offense with 15 points, including a trio of 3-pointers.
Barnes poured in 12 points to lead Carson, while Steele chipped in with 10.
Reed (2-3, 1-1 Northern 4A) takes on cross-town rival Sparks Friday night in non-league action. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. at Reed.