Reed found itself facing a 15-point deficit two minutes into the second quarter of Friday night's Rail City Classic semifinal against Galena. Despite clawing its way back to eventually tie the game in the fourth quarter, Reed never could take the lead and it wound up getting stuck with a 52-48 loss in the tournament tilt.
"That slow start has been a recurring theme for us," Reed coach Dustin Hall said. "Our first quarters have been really bad offensively. The other night, we only scored five in the first. Tonight we only had five in the first. We must find a way to fix that."
Galena's Max Erickson nailed a 3-pointer that gave the Grizzlies a 22-7 advantage at the 5:26 mark of the second quarter.
From there, Reed began to chip away. The Raiders scored 13 of the game's next 18 points, trimming the GHS edge to 27-20. Erickson dropped in a layup in the waning seconds of the period and gave Galena 29-20 halftime lead.
"Early on, we were allowed to run and we had good spacing," Galena coach Brian Voyles said. "Then Reed kind of turned it around on us and didn't let us run. They kind of controlled the flow. They made us run our half-court offense and at this time in the season, I don't think anybody is running their half-court stuff real well. I know we're not."
The Raiders didn't go away in the contest, which was played at Sparks High. The Raiders outscored Galena 14-8 in the third period, getting as close as 37-34, heading into the final eight minutes.
Reed got a 3-point play from Deyraun Stamps with 5:23 remaining in the game and that play deadlocked the matchup at 39-39.
That's also when Reed's energy tanks kind of ran out of gas. The Raiders never could take the lead and didn't even pull into another tie.
Galena answered with a 3-pointer from Caleb Wood and a layup from Poulsen. The Grizzlies held Reed at bay through the reminder of crunchtime. However, the Raiders didn't go away, Senior guard Ty Shepard knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing and the RHS crew was down just a possession, 47-45, with 1:11 still showing on the game clock.
Galena put the game away by making 5-of-6 free throws in the final 27 seconds.
"I told the kids I was real proud of them," Hall said. "They played really hard. The other night we played with no emotion, no energy and we still won. But tonight, win or lose, we took a step forward. And that's because we played hard and with good emotion. It was like a league game with good intensity. We're getting better and that's exciting."
Wood put up 13 points and Poulsen chipped in 11 for Galena (8-3).
Trae Wells finished with 14 points and Shepard added 12 to lead the Reed offense in defeat.
Reed (4-5) will play in the tournament's third-place game Saturday at 10 a.m.
Sparks 71, Rite of Passage 48
•Sparks found some separation after halftime and rolled to the 23-point romp. The losers' bracket tournament game, which was played at Wooster, was tight at halftime as the Railroaders clung to just a 31-30 lead.
Sparks outscored ROP 40-18 in the second half and cruised to the non-league victory.
Keiffer Putman scored 20 points and DJ Devine threw in 19 in the Railroaders' winning effort.
"In the first half, we got caught up in their running game and they're efficient at it," Sparks coach Dan Schreiber said. "Then at halftime, we made some adjustments. The kids caught on and we were able to exploit ROP's weaknesses. As a coach, it's nice to be able to make an adjustment and see the kids execute it, especially now when we're playing lots of games and there's not much practice between games."
Sparks (5-5) finishes its tournament run at Wooster against the Colts Saturday at 2:30 p.m.