“I thought both teams played extremely hard and extremely well,” Reed coach Dustin Hall said. “It was a back-and-forth game. Every time we hit them with a couple punches, they responded and hit us with a couple. Neither team buckled or gave in. Give credit to Reno because they played their butts off. And credit to our guys too because they played hard again.”
With the gym packed and both student sections particularly amped for the match-up, the tempo and energy of the game was high from the tip.
Neither team separated itself early on in the game. The Raiders held a 7-6 advantage halfway through the first quarter. Reno soon changed that, scoring eight unanswered points to take a 14-7 lead. A 3-pointer from Reed guard Dylan McKenzie ended the quarter at 14-10.
The Raiders countered the Reno run with a spurt of their own, starting the second quarter off with a 9-4 burst that gave the lead back to Reed at 19-18 with 4:55 until halftime. The Huskies regained the lead at 23-21 with two minutes left in the opening half, but Reed caught fire from beyond the arc as guards Juan Rodriguez and Kyle Ross each hit a triple in the final minute and McKenzie drilled a three at the buzzer as the RHS club jumped back in the driver’s seat with the scoreboard reading 30-26 at the half.
The Huskies answered with a 13-6 surge over the first five minutes of the second half to grab the lead yet again. Reed withstood the Reno (9-11, 6-5) response, following with its own 10-2 dash to take the lead, this time for good. The scoreboard read 46-41, heading into the last quarter.
Using a pair of threes to open the fourth from Rodriguez and McKenzie, the Raiders pushed their lead to 54-45 with 4:49 until the final horn. Five straight points from the Huskies trimmed the Reed advantage down to four, but clutch free-throw shooting closed the game out for the Raiders. A half-court shot at the end of regulation by Ross put the finishing touches on the win.
“We’ve been talking all year about the toughness and resiliency of our team,” Hall said. “Again, our guys stepped up. Again, we had guys off of the bench. Juan stepped up with a pair of threes. Trae (Wells) started for us with A.J. Silva’s absence and he played big and grabbed rebounds and knocked down some big free throws. It was a total team effort tonight.”
A hot shooting night for Reed led it to the victory as the Raiders hit 11 buckets from deep and converted 12-of-13 from the charity stripe.
“That’s probably percentage wise the best we have shot it as a team,” Hall said. “We were efficient. We weren’t just jacking it up. When we weren’t turning it over, we were knocking shots down so that was a pleasant surprise.
“And as far as our free-throw shooting, a bunch of those were in a big pressure spot. Trae stepped up after missing the front end and knocked down two big ones. Then Dylan hit a pair and Kyle hit some big ones. We shot the ball very well tonight and that’s what we are capable of.”
The Raiders’ effort was led by Ross who tallied a team-high 18 points. McKenzie and junior guard Devin Gray also finished with double-digit points, chipping in 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Reed (10-6, 9-3) hits the hardwood again when it host Damonte Ranch on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.