That pivotal span cost Reed a non-league victory and helped Carson capture a 59-54 triumph at the east Sparks school.
Mike Powell dropped his third of four 3-point bombs 12 seconds into the fourth quarter. The trey forged Reed into a 44-43 lead, but it was the Raiders' last advantage on the night.
Carson (3-1) shut Reed out for the next four and a half minutes and in the process reeled off 10 unanswered points. Senators senior Patrick Smith was the catalyst of the key spurt, burying a pair of free throws and dropping in uncontested layups on a pair of in-bound sets.
The tell-tale outburst put Carson on top 53-44.
“We started extending out on the perimeter because they’re a perimeter-shooting team and they weren‘t hurting us much inside,” veteran Carson coach Bruce Barnes said. “Going into games, we always focus on the inside and work out. Tonight, finally in the fourth quarter, we decided to stop the shooting and make them hurt us inside. I don’t say that very often because teams tend to make a habit of that.”
Powell stopped Reed's scoreless skid with his final 3-pointer at the 3:16 mark of the fourth quarter. RHS teammate Aaron Greenblat followed a minute later and drained another 3-pointer for Reed to trim the Senators' lead to 53-50 with 2:07 showing on the game clock.
That's as good as it got for the Raiders. The teams traded a pair of scoreless possessions and Reed went into foul mode. Carson cashed in on its ensuing trips to the charity stripe. Andrew Johnson and Smith both canned a pair of free throws, extending the visitors' lead to 57-50 and securing their victory.
The foes played even basketball for the first 12-plus minutes. Smith knocked down a 15-foot jumper to knot the game at 17-17 midway through the second quarter.
Reed responded with two free throws from Roberto Velazquez, a driving layup from Powell and a runner by Tyler Pine. The mini outburst gave the Raiders a 23-17 lead — their largest lead of the night — with just over a minute to go before the intermission.
The Raiders' momentum was gone before the break. Carson got a traditional 3-point play from Mathew Cooper and a 3-pointer by Brian Barnes in the waning seconds of the period. The 6-0 Senators run pulled the capital city school into a 23-23 deadlock at halftime.
“I think they went on a couple runs," Reed coach Dustin Hall said. “The last minute of the second quarter hurt. We gave up an offensive rebound and then they get a putback and foul. Then, they hit a three; so a six-point lead is down to nothing at halftime. And then there was obviously the start of the fourth quarter. Our defense didn't find people, and then offensively, we got stagnant.”
The score was still tied, at 36-36 after a 15-foot jumper by Johnson with 3:40 left in the third period.
Powell answered on the following possession with a 3-pointer, but Carson scored the next seven points and grabbed a 43-39 lead, setting the stage for the fourth quarter.
Powell led all scorers, pouring in 24 points for Reed. Taylor Yancey chipped in 16 for the Raiders, who fell to 0-3 on the young season.
Brian Barnes had 17 points and Smith chipped in 14 for Carson.
Hall did his best in postgame comments to keep the loss in perspective.
“There's no question we were better than Saturday,” Hall said, alluding to the Raiders' loss to 3A Sparks. “The effort, the attitude, everything was better ... I'm proud of the effort, but our execution is not there yet. And that's not entirely the kids' fault. We as coaches haven't put in everything we want to so the kids are a little behind right now.”
Reed will play in the Folsom (Calif.) tournament this weekend. Reed opens the event against the host Bulldogs at 7 p.m. Thursday night. The Raiders expect a tough test.
“Last year they went 32-1 and won their CIF section,” Hall said. “They were pretty dang good and I think they have three or four starters back from last year's team. It will be a measuring stick to see where we're at, but we had an idea it might take us some time and that there would be a transition for a lot of these kids.”