"We had spurts where we competed. The effort was there," Reed coach Dustin Hall said. "We did some good things. We got the tempo going up and down, but there just wasn't enough of it."
The Raiders struggled early and never really bounced back. Trailing 7-4 with just over five minutes left in the first quarter, Reed's Taylor Yancey wound up knotting things at nine apiece with 1:47 showing on the clock. However, the Mustangs hit on two of four free throws and got an easy layup to take a 13-9 edge out of the initial quarter.
Things did not improve for Reed in the second quarter as it saw Damonte take an 18-9 lead just a minute into the second quarter. A trey from Yancey with just under three minutes to go in the half tied the game at 26-26. An assist from Mike Powell to Yuriy Ikovlev pushed Reed ahead, 29-28. Reed failed to score on three straight possessions in the 1:40 and Damonte was able to take a 33-31 lead into halftime.
The teams battled all through the third quarter, keeping the game close. Damonte's Matt Nuthall hit a triple at the buzzer to end the quarter and give the visiting Mustangs 46-44 lead over the Raiders.
That was as good as it would get for Reed, which quickly saw the two point-deficit turn into a seven-point deficit, 51-44.
"For whatever reason, tonight we didn't come out ready to play," Hall said. "In the first quarter, we didn't come out quick. They kind of came out and jumped on us. Then in the third quarter, they kind of jumped on us and in the fourth quarter they jumped on us some more. Maybe we've got to do a better job on getting them prepared to come out and play."
In turn, Damonte forged ahead to a 63-52 lead with only 30 seconds left. Damonte shot 21 free throws in the fourth quarter, and made 13 of them to help hold Reed at bay.
Yancey had 15 points to lead the Raiders, while Powell chipped in 14.
The Raiders only had eight players suited up for Tuesday's contest. With some injuries, and six football players out due to practice requirements, Hall is hoping the Raiders will be stronger in the coming days.
"I think the addition of some of these football players is going to push guys," Hall said. "I think we've been a little complacent. Their positions haven't been challenged yet. Now that we've got this addition in practice, I think it's going to be more competitive. There's going to be a little more sense of urgency."
Reed is in action again Saturday, taking on 3A opponent Sparks at 1 p.m. at SHS.