While the Mustangs stayed in the locker room two minutes longer at halftime, it was the Raiders who made better use of the break, making the changes to secure a 80-66 home win.
The two teams continued trading buckets back and forth in the third until Damonte’s Justin Bridgman only made one free throw at the line, failing to tie it and leaving Reed with a 50-49 lead with two and a half minutes to play in the third.
That’s also when everyone could feel the Mustangs getting tired from the Raiders’ all-out attack.
Reed came down the court, swung the ball around to an open Devin Gray, and the junior guard knocked down a 3-pointer.
The Mustangs turned the ball over and Kyle Ross drove the lane for an easy layup and 55-49 lead with 2:05 to go in the third.
Damonte scored on its next possession, ending a string of turnovers, but the Raiders had an answer.
Ross drove to the hoop and kicked it out to an open A.J. Silva in the corner for a 3-pointer.
Ross closed out the third quarter’s scoring when Ty Shepard found him on a backdoor cut for a layup, increasing the RHS advantage to 60-51.
“We got a couple big stops and a couple big possessions,” Reed boys basketball coach Dustin Hall said of the third quarter. “We finished the quarter off in a good way. We felt like we took a step in the right direction. It was still a long fourth quarter and we held on. The kids played well in the second half.”
The Mustangs seemed to not get enough rest between the quarters as Reed freshman backup point guard Jamel Ramos blazed his way to the basket for an uncontested layup, giving Reed its first double-digit lead of the night, 62-51.
Damonte attempted to make a game of it with five unanswered points, but the visitors couldn’t get closer than six points the rest of the way.
A Ross steal and breakaway layup put the Raiders ahead by 10 again, 68-58, with 4:32 remaining in the game.
The lead fluctuated between eight and 10 points before the Mustangs started playing the foul game with a minute and a half left. Ross made four free throws to cap a 6-0 run that made it a 78-64 score.
The first half was high-scoring for both teams. Reed scored 40 points in both halves, but was disappointed in allowing 40 to Damonte in the first 16 minutes of action.
“We had the pace where we wanted it. But we didn’t have the purpose on defense,” Hall said. “We weren’t getting the stops. Credit to them, they hit some transition threes, a lot of jumpers. They took some shots that were going to be if there we were going to press, and they hit them. We felt like if we could keep the pace up, our depth would help.”
Reed didn’t have much of an answer for Damonte senior forward Jeff Turk. Turk poured in 21 of his game-high 31 points in the first half and went shot for shot with the Raiders. His last trey of the first quarter tied the game at 16-16 and broke up what would have been a 7-0 spurt by Gray.
Gray went off in the final minute of the first quarter, scoring Reed’s last seven points. Gray gave the Raiders their largest lead of the quarter, three points, twice in the last 52 seconds. His 3-pointer handed the hosts a 19-16 edge after one quarter.
Reed forged ahead 27-20 following baskets by Ross and Silva, but Turk started the first of two 6-0 Damonte rallies that brought the Mustangs back in the game and into a 34-32 lead, following a 12-2 stint.
Ty Shepard’s putback with 16 second before halftime knotted the game at 40-40.
Ross paced the Raiders with 23 points. Gray added 18, while Shepard and Silva had 12 and 10 respectively. John Carlson finished with 14 in the losing cause.
Reed (11-6, 10-3 in Northern 4A) travels to McQueen Friday night for a 7:30 p.m. contest.