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Reed boys pull away in second half, bounce Wooster 63-38
by Dan Eckles
Jan 07, 2014 | 1127 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed senior Alonzo Vega (#15) drives by a Wooster defender during first-half action of the Raiders' league home win Tuesday night.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed senior Alonzo Vega (#15) drives by a Wooster defender during first-half action of the Raiders' league home win Tuesday night.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Brendan Cancino drives into the lane for the Raiders in the third period with a Wooster defender pursuing the action.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Brendan Cancino drives into the lane for the Raiders in the third period with a Wooster defender pursuing the action.
slideshow
A struggling Wooster boys basketball team gave North power Reed all it could handle for a half. And then the wheels fell off the Colts' bus.

Wooster, winless in conference clashes so far this winter, battled Reed to a tie at the intermission, but then got outscored by 25 after the break and watched the host Raiders roll to a 63-38 triumph in a DI North crossover league contest Tuesday night.

"We challenged our kids at halftime and they responded," Reed coach Dustin Hall said. "Wooster had done a good job shortening the game. In the second half, we wanted to get the tempo up and get more possessions. That started with our defense."

The two teams were deadlocked at 26 when time started ticking in the third period. Reed proceeded to open the second half on a 13-2 run and never looked back. Wooster was never able to take the lead or pull into a tie again. In fact, the visiting Colts never got closer than nine the rest of the way.

Reed senior Alonzo Vega capped the early third-period outburst with a breakaway dunk that forged the Raiders ahead 39-28 at the 4:25 mark of the third quarter.

Wooster stopped the bleeding through the remainder of the third. The Reno school outscored Reed 8-7 over the last four minutes of the quarter and found itself trailing 46-36, heading into the fourth period.

"The second half was two things," Wooster coach Dean Whellams said. "All of a sudden, some shots don't fall and then they definitely picked up their defensive intensity. It snowballed on us quickly."

That's as good as it got for the Colts. Reed poured it on in the final eight minutes of play, outscoring Wooster 17-2 to account for the final 25-point margin.

Ramos finished with 16 points, a figure that included a pair of treys and two dunks. Trae Wells added 15 for Reed and Jamel Ramos chipped in 12.

Reed improved to 11-3 overall and 4-0 in league play with Tuesday's victory. Wooster fell to 2-10 overall and 0-4 in league tilts.

The Raiders looked poised to hand the Colts a lopsided loss from the tip. Following a layup by Brendan Cancino, Reed had jumped ahead 10-3 just more than minutes into the game. Wooster got a pair of corner 3-pointers from Shandy Hunter in the last 2:38 of the first quarter and Reed managed only a 12-9 advantage after the initial period's conclusion.

A Vega dunk and Ramos 3-pointer helped Reed extend its edge to 17-11 less than two minutes into the second quarter. Unfortunately for fans of the Blue and Gold, Wooster responded with a 15-5 spurt that saw it go on top 24-22 after Hunter buried a trifecta from the top of the key at the 1:07 mark of the second period.

The two teams wound up going to the locker room at the half in a 26-26 tie.

Wooster hung around in the first half on the strength of six 3-pointers. Reed's defense clamped down after the break and did not give up a single trey to the Colts in the final two quarters.

"We got some shots to fall and we were able to match their intensity in the first half," Whellams said. "We were also able to handle their pressure in the first half and they get after you. They try to use every bit of space in the full court, but when you hit six threes in a half, that helps too."

Hunter led the Colts in the scoring column, finishing with 12 points -- all from beyond the arc -- but he was shut out by the Raider defense after halftime. Tony Keith added 11 points for Wooster in the loss.

Tuesday's game was the first for Reed in more than a week, since it had played Dec. 30 in Las Vegas.

"We had a good last week of practice," Hall said. "The first half was not rust. It was more of an effort thing. If Wooster plays that hard with that much effort, they're going to beat some people. I'm glad we got this win and survived."

Reed returns to the hardwood for a 7 p.m. High Desert League game Friday at McQueen.

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