The Raiders got Omarri Williams back for the conference clash after the senior point guard was ineligible last week. He played like a competitor who was trying to make up for lost time. William scored a team-high 17 points for Reed and wreaked havoc by breaking down the Cougars’ defense with the dribble while grabbing a handful of steals.
“It was a nice feeling to be back out there with my friends and teammates,” Williams said. “These are guys are my family. I see them everyday. I had to get after it. I felt like I let them down.”
The Raiders split a pair of league games last week with Williams out of the lineup.
Reed took control Tuesday with a run of 10 unanswered points during a two-minute stretch of the second period. The Raiders led 15-13 after one period of play but Spanish Springs took a 17-15 lead to open the quarter after a reverse layup by Zach Beebe and a baseline fade-away jumper by Taelor Marchbanks.
The Reed defense proceeded to hold Spanish Springs scoreless for the next three and a half minutes. In that same span, Reed’s Nick Dixon scored six points while Cory Whitaker and Zack Wood both got layins to fall in transition.
Reed had a 25-17 advantage after the outburst. The cross-town rivals traded a pair of free throws and baskets and Reed took a 29-22 halftime lead.
Spanish Springs closed to within four, 34-30, after Robbie Hanna converted on 1-of-2 shots from the charity stripe at the 5:27 mark of the third period. Reed then went on a 9-2 run that spanned into the opening seconds of the fourth quarter.
“We had people ready to make plays tonight, but we made some inopportune turnovers and our shot selection was poor ... And that always seemed to result in easy buckets for them,” Spanish Springs coach Kyle Penney said.
The aforementioned spurt gave the Raiders a 43-32 lead, their biggest of the game to that point. Still, Spanish Springs did not roll over and play dead. The Cougars fought back to get within four points on two occasions. The second, at 47-43, came when Marchbanks hit 1-of-2 of foul shots with 4:45 to go the contest.
That as good as it got for the hosts. Reed reeled off the next nine points and was never seriously threatened again.
“They were running a lot of high-risk, trapping type of stuff. With that, we got some good looks at the basket at times, but they also got some steals and points the other way,” Reed coach Paul Gray said. “Spanish Springs is playing well. This was a playoff-type atmopshere tonight. Both teams played hard.”
Spanish Springs did cut the margin to five, 60-55, after a pull-up jumper by Dan Lide with 25 seconds remaining. But the last-gasp effort proved too little too late.
Lide led all scorers with 20 points on the night. The Cougars also got 14 points from Beebe and 11 from Tyler Emrick.
Nick Dixon and Wood and contributed 15 and 13 points respectively to the Raiders’ winning cause.
The Raiders (15-8, 5-5 HDL) will need their full complement of players to make any noise down the stretch. The RHS crew has not clinched a playoff berth, but can do so with a win in either of its last two games. Reed, which has not missed the postseason since 2001, hosts Fallon and Elko Friday and Saturday.
“It’s been rare, but it was nice,” Gray said of watching his entire roster suit up. “I was happy we were all ready. We haven’t peaked. Our best basketball is still ahead of us.”
Spanish Springs (12-9, 5-6) still has playoff aspirations as well. The Cougars must win at McQueen Friday and hope Fallon falls to both Reed and Manogue this weekend.
“It’s frustrating because we had an opportunity to control our own destiny with a win tonight. It’s not a good feeling not to have to rely on somebody else,” Penney said.