The Raiders passed the first test, picking apart cross-town rival Spanish Springs en route to an 85-61 home victory.
The Cougars came out inspired and led 10-6 midway through the opening period. The visitors still led 16-12 with just over two minutes on the first-quarter clock.
However, it went downhill quickly for the Purple and Silver.
A Tina Vernon follow of her own miss ignited what turned out to be a string of 11 unanswered points by Reed to close out the first quarter, leaving it with a 23-16 edge. The Raiders ended the quarter when point guard Gabby Williams took an inbounds pass with 5 seconds left and went the distance, dropping in a layup as time expired.
The break between quarters didn’t cool off the hosts.
Nine seconds into the second quarter, Tyler Sumpter swished a 3-pointer from the corner, pushing the gap to double digits for the first time, 26-16.
A coast-to-coast layup by Williams capped what turned into a 16-0 run and left the Raiders with a 28-16 lead.
SSHS senior Riley Holladay stopped the bleeding momentarily with two of her game-high 26 points, but Brooke Cervantes answered with a 3-pointer for Reed.
A step-back 3-pointer by Gabby Williams was the highlight of the quarter as she showcased her entire repertoire for the fans and recruiters present. The trey gave Reed a 38-22 advantage with 3:49 to go in the half.
Sumpter followed with another 3-pointer and then scored down low as part of the 8-0 rally, extending the lead to 43-22.
The Raiders enjoyed a 48-27 cushion at the intermission.
The Blue and Gold put it in cruise control in the third quarter after Williams tallied the first five points of the second half.
Williams put on a clinic, finding her teammates with precision passes, knocking down deep threes, and hitting an assortment of short-range shots.
“That’s what we want. When they start doubling, she found the open man and that open man converted. That’s what we’ve been wanting all year, and we did that well tonight,” Reed girls basketball coach Sara Schopper-Ramirez said.
In the final minute of the third, Williams got a pull-up to fall and then went end-to-end to finish a layup while getting bumped in the body. That gave Reed its largest lead to that point, 67-43, at the end of three quarters of play.
Even though the Raiders still have a meeting today with bitter rival Reno, Reed’s starters remained in the game in the fourth. A Williams three-point play increased the margin to 29 points for the first of three occasions in the game. That was the biggest lead of the contest. Williams went to the bench for the final 3:50 of the game, but Reed still managed offense.
Cervantes banked home a 3-pointer before Holladay came right down the floor and drained one of her own, cutting the deficit to 83-56.
Spanish Springs scored five of the game’s final seven points.
Holladay shot 9-of-17 from the floor and added seven steals, six rebounds and five assists in the win. Laneesha Terrance made 8 of 10 shots for 16 points to go with her 14 boards. Lyndsey Anderson chipped in nine points in the losing cause.
“Next time is a long way away. We just have to keep working to get better between now and then,” SSHS girls basketball coach Christine Eckles. “I thought Riley, Laneesha and Lyndsey really came to play and did some really great things for us. We want to have them continue to play at that intensity level. This game is over, and we have another tomorrow that we need to take care of.”
To go along with her team-high 23 points, Williams also dished out seven assists and recorded six rebounds, six steals and three blocks. Sumpter had 22 points, while Cervantes and Vernon contributed 13 and 12 points respectively.
Reed (14-2, 9-0) takes on Reno today at 11:45 a.m. on the road. Spanish Springs (15-5, 6-3) heads to North Valleys.
“It’s a tough turnaround. Our starters saw a lot of minutes,” Ramirez said. “That’s what it’s about. We want to see how they respond. When it gets down to regionals and state, it’s two hard back-to-back games. We’re not going to make an excuse. We’re going to come out and play the hardest basketball we play.”