Reed racked up an impressive 22-7 record and rolled to a 14-2 mark in league play, winning the High Desert League championship. It was the east Sparks school's first conference crown in nine years.
"A lot of things came together," Reed coach Dustin Hall said. "The kids played well together. They defended well most of the year, and I'm not going to lie, it helps to have talent. We had Trae (Wells), Jamel (Ramos) and Alonzo (Vega). We were one of the more talented, more athletic teams. We had a lot of individual talent and that was able to help win us win a lot of games."
The Raiders saw their season end before anyone who loves Blue and Gold wanted it to. Reed was eliminated in DI North Tournament semifinals last Friday, following a 67-62 loss to league rival Reno. Reed players and coaches envisioned a state tournament run so getting axed from postseason play prior to suiting up for state was a disappointment.
"It's still tough to swallow," Hall said Tuesday morning. "Yesterday was hard because I was so used to going to practice in the evening and that was the first night where it really hit me like 'we're done.' It's still a fresh wound, but it's never too early to look back and see the year the kids had, that great season with great individual accomplishments and great a team accomplishment, winning a regular season league championship."
Reed's season started strong as it knocked off perennial Sierra League power Douglas despite not having four players eligible because they did not get enough practices under their belts after playing in the state football championship just days before. The RHS gang went on to start 3-0 before losing two games in the Rail City Classic — to Galena and Lowry.
The Raiders went on to win 11 of their next 12 games. The lone loss in that stretch was a 60-38 defeat at the hands of Las Vegas High in the Wildcats' own tournament over the Christmas Break. The Raiders won five of six games in the southern Nevada tournament, an impressive feat against good competition for a team that had not traveled over the holidays in a few years.
"That for sure had to be one of the highlights of our season," Hall said. "It was nice to go down and win a bunch of games, but it was just fun to get the kids out of town, get away from distractions. I got to know a lot of them and they got to know each other on another level. That trip was something I won't forget in a long time."
Reed's run of wins came to a close in late January when it lost a non-league home game to Lowry, one of the top teams in northern Nevada regardless of classification. It was Reed's second loss of the season to the Winnemucca school although the Raiders' player-of-the-year candidate Trae Wells did not suit up for either contest.
The Raiders lost two of their next three outings, at Spanish Springs and at Galena, but then ripped off eight more victories before the playoff defeat to Reno.
"The season was good," Hall said. "It still hurts looking back at the season ending premature but the fact that two teams from our league did go to the state championship, two very good tough teams, and we were 14-2 in our league, that's pretty darned good. It's a really good accomplishment for our kids and a testament to them and their hard work."
Wells led the Raiders in scoring at 17.9 points per game while Ramos chipped in 14.4 and Vega added 12.9 a night for the local squad. Devin Herbert led the Raiders in rebounding, pulling down 6.5 board per game.