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Raider boys hold off charging Mustangs
by Aaron Retherford
Jan 29, 2013 | 1926 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed's Alonzo Vega (15) drives by a Damonte defender during the Raiders' crossover league win Tuesday night.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed's Alonzo Vega (15) drives by a Damonte defender during the Raiders' crossover league win Tuesday night.
Holding on to a slim one-point lead heading into the final quarter of its crossover league matchup Tuesday night, the Reed boys basketball team lost that edge but led when it mattered.

After falling behind 49-48, 34 seconds into the fourth quarter, the Raiders scored 13 of the next 17 points, capped by a basket in the paint and a 3-pointer by Alonzo Vega. That outburst proved to be the difference as Reed secured a 74-70 win on the road.

“Defensively, we weren’t very good tonight,” Reed boys basketball coach Dustin Hall said. “We didn’t have a lot of energy and didn’t defend the ball on the perimeter very well. They broke us down pretty much the whole night.”

After Vega’s three-point bomb forged the Raiders ahead by a 61-53 score with 4:57 left in the game, Damonte wouldn’t go away.

The Mustangs launched up a bevy of shots from the outside. Their second 3-pointer of the quarter fired up the fans and left Reed clinging to a 63-61 lead, following an 8-2 DRHS rally.

The Raiders enjoyed a 67-63 edge after Vega made two foul shots with two minutes on the clock.

Damonte made it a one-possession game on a pull-up jumper by Brett Cooper (68-65) and a swished 3-pointer by Sean Pinching from the left wing (70-68). Pinching’s shot from long range came with a minute left, and Damonte called timeout.

Trae Wells was fouled and went to the line for the Raiders. He made both free throws, making it a two-possession game with 48 seconds to play.

Damonte came up empty on its next possession and Wells was fouled again. He only made the first attempt, but that was good enough to hold the southeast Reno school at bay. Reed held a sizable advantage at the free-throw line, making 19 of 29 attempts, while Damonte was only 8-of-11.

“Luckily, we were able to score points,” Hall said. “We knocked down free throws, especially in that fourth quarter. We were able to get to the rim. Some guys contributed off the bench. Trae got hot there for a few and put some points up. It was a good team effort offensively.”

Both teams traded blows in the first quarter.

After Reed scored five straight points to go up by six, 14-8, Damonte answered back with six consecutive, capped by a Justin Bridgman pull-up jumper with 9 seconds on the clock. That left the teams deadlocked at 14-14 at the first quarter’s conclusion.

Bridgman propelled the Mustangs into their first lead of the game, scoring on a tough drive to the hoop, leaving the DRHS gang with a 16-14 advantage.

However, the Mustangs only made one shot from the floor during the first 6:15 of the second quarter.

Reed didn’t suffer those struggles. Three free throws by the east Sparks school sent it into a lead it would not relinquish the remainder of the half.

It was still a 17-16 score with three minutes left in the first half when Devin Gray nailed a 3-pointer in transition for the Raiders.

Damonte sliced the lead to 20-18 with two foul shots, but Reed went up by six on a Wells turnaround jumper and an Ajay Bains backdoor cut layup.

Damonte and Reed exchanged three-point plays, keeping the six-point cushion intact.

With 46 seconds to go before the intermission, Bridgman made 1 of 2 free throws, which followed a layup by Grant Cooper. Gray’s second trey of the quarter pushed the visitors’ lead back up to a half dozen, 30-24.

The Raiders were able to build an eight-point edge, but Damonte concluded the first half with a pair of free throws, cutting Reed’s halftime lead down to 32-26.

The gap fluctuated between three and eight points until Bridgman ripped the twine on a three-ball from the corner, bringing the Mustangs to within two, 41-39, with 4:37 on the third-quarter clock.

After Wells came up empty on a trip to the charity stripe, Damonte made Reed pay with a go-ahead 3-pointer by Brett Cooper. But the offensive well went dry long enough for the Raiders to stage a comeback with a 7-0 run to take a 48-42 lead with 1:52 to go in the third period.

The Mustangs made sure the fourth quarter would start off as a nail-biter by tallying the last five points of the third.

Wells turned in a game-high 24-point performance. Vega added 19, including an 8-of-10 effort from the line. Gray had 11.

In the loss, Brett Cooper finished with 17, while Bridgman and David Crowley each scored 16.

Reed (12-8, 8-4) is at McQueen Friday night for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
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