Reed improved to 19-6, 12-2 in league games and secured at least a share of the High Desert League title with two regular season games remaining. McQueen fell to 7-16, 4-10.
“You know there was a lot a good with a lot of things that I thought we could clean up,” Reed coach Dustin Hall said. “We were sloppy handling pressure, rebounding the ball. I thought McQueen was really active on the offensive glass and we missed some assignments on box outs.
After the full-court press dominated in Tuesday’s home romp over Damonte Ranch, Hall applied the pressure in the opening quarter Friday night and his Raiders rode it to a 19-9 lead going into the second quarter.
The Raiders allowed a putback on their first defensive possession before going on an 11-1 run and taking a 32-15 lead into the half.
“The first quarter and the first couple minutes in the second quarter, I thought we really came out nicely,” Hall said.
Reed’s 60-point offensive showing Friday night was its lowest scoring output in five games, since a 60-51 loss at Galena. Hall credited McQueen’s defense for keeping his typically electric offensive in check.
“I thought we were a little sloppy and nonchalant once we got the lead but McQueen is feisty. They've got a bunch of guards that fly around,” Hall said. “So they make you uncomfortable and they do some things that are different.”
The guests outscored the hosts 10-8 in the third quarter before Jamel Ramos hit a 3 at the buzzer to put the Raiders in front 43-25 with eight minutes to play.
Jamos shared the game’s highest scoring honors with McQueen’s Byrce Harnack. Both scored 17 points.
“Bryce, he’s a tough matchup. He’s really crafty and handles the ball well,” Hall said. “He’s a physical guard, gets his body into you. So he’s tough but I thought (Alonzo Vega) did a really good job and made him work for a lot of his baskets and some other guys did a good job on him too, but he’s a good player. He’s going to score the ball.”
On the offensive side of the ball, Vega chipped in nine points.
Harnack’s baseline move with 5:36 remaining snuck McQueen within 14 at 45-31 but Cody DeHann’s three-point play sparked a 10-4 run that put the game away. Vega’s bucket to cap the run put Reed in front 58-35 – its biggest lead of the game.
Rian Narra was McQueen second-leading scoring, throwing eight points into the mix – all of which came in the final minute.
After scoring 34 points, and 28 in Reed’s last two games, Trae Wells was held to 11 points but played a much larger role facilitating than normal.
Reed now owns a two-game lead over Spanish Springs for the HDL title with two league games remaining. A win Tuesday on the road at North Valleys secures the title and HDL's No. 1 seed for the upcoming regional tournament.
“We would like to get the one on Tuesday to keep the momentum going to lock up that No. 1 seed. We’re glad we have the home game (regardless of the final two games Reed is guaranteed a home playoff game),” Hall said.
If Reed falls Tuesday, and Spanish Springs wins at McQueen, the regular-season finale between the Raiders and Cougars on Friday at Reed could be for the league title.