The win wrapped up Pool D for the Raiders who advance into the championship bracket.
Trailing by 20 points going into the final quarter, the Hillmen (4-2) started applying full-court pressure and the tired Raiders struggled to get the ball across midcourt, let alone get the ball in the bucket. Placer outscored Reed 14-3 in the final quarter.
“We are happy we won but the fourth quarter was about the worst basketball we have played in six years,” Reed coach Dustin Hall said. “We don’t know how to protect the basketball, how to protect a lead or how to extend a lead and finish. This is what these tournaments are for, to expose some weaknesses and we were exposed. So we’ll get back to the drawing board.”
The Raiders and Hillmen exchanged the lead six times early in the first quarter before Jamel Ramos, who posted 13 points, hit the first of his three treys to put Reed in front 10-8. Ramos’ jumper triggered a 12-0 run that ran into the second quarter and the Raiders never trailed again.
Reed’s Alonzo Vega led all scorers with 18 points, 11 of which came in the first half.
“That’s what he (Vega) is capable of. He wants to be aggressive,” Hall said. “It always starts with his defense. When he rebounds and gets out in lanes and gets downhill, he’s very tough to guard so (Alon)zo played really well tonight.”
Alec Leighton chipped in eight points of his own, hitting a pair of three-pointers.
After not hitting a shot from behind the arc all night, Placer hit three three-pointers in the final four minutes to close the gap. Noah Daly led the Hillmen with nine points but was limited to just one point, a free throw, in the fourth quarter.
Reed will play its fourth game in as many days, Friday, against Damonte Ranch in the first round of the double-elimination tournament. The Mustangs won their pool (Pool C) after beating Sparks and West Wendover.
Hall expects full-court pressure and traps early on after his squad’s fourth-quarter struggles Thursday night.
“We are definitely going to think about it and I promise you they’re going to come out and trap us and pressure us…” Hall said. “We’ll talk about it and try to get better. Unfortunately, we don’t have time to practice, so we’ll have to learn on the fly.”
The Raiders once again played with only eight players as four football players remain ineligible due to a limited number of practices. Hall expects to have the quartet back Saturday, for what would be the tournament championship game if the Raiders top the Mustangs tomorrow.