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Second-half spurt pushes Reed boys past McQueen
by Nathan Shoup
Jan 11, 2014 | 808 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Trae Wells puts up a shot around McQueen's Elijah Claudio in Friday's, 67-56, road win. Wells finished with 17 points.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Trae Wells puts up a shot around McQueen's Elijah Claudio in Friday's, 67-56, road win. Wells finished with 17 points.
It was the type of game teams with league title aspirations find a way to win.

The Reed boys basketball team extended its win streak to five games and improved to 12-3 overall and 5-0 in league tilts with a 67-56 win at McQueen Friday night.

“I’m proud of the win, the road win,” Reed coach Dustin Hall said. “Anytime in league you can get a road win, we’ll take that result. We played really good in spurts.”

McQueen coach John Franklin and his Lancers’ game plan was clear after the opening possessions: play up and down and try to outrun the Raiders.

Through one half, the plan worked.

Despite Reed’s 29-25 lead going into the locker room, the RHS gang had committed numerous uncharacteristic turnovers while playing the Lancers’ rapid style, letting the hosts (5-10, 2-3) hang around.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Hall said of McQueen’s dramatically up-tempo pace Friday night. “We have watched film and we’ve seen two ends of the spectrum. We’ve seen them sit down and play half-court basketball and play a lot of zone and score some games in the 40s and then other games it was 75-72.”

Hall and his squad did not slow the game down in the second half. They continued to play McQueen’s hand – but they played it better.

Reed opened the third quarter on a 16-3 run to go in front 45-28. The deficit never shrunk within single digits.

“That was huge,” Hall said of his group’s early run in the second half. “We felt like we left some points on the board in the first half. So in the second half, we challenged them in the locker room. We got on them pretty hard, and they came out and immediately responded. That was nice … That first three minutes were huge in the third quarter.”

Reed’s lead ballooned to 18 early in the fourth quarter after a Grayson Young 3-point play the hard way. Young finished with 10 points.

McQueen shrunk the gap to 11 before the final buzzer, largely on the shoulders of Rian Narra’s 3-point shooting. The senior hit three of his team’s four shots from behind the arc in the fourth quarter and finished tied for the team lead with 18 points. Bryce Harnack also finished with 18 points for McQueen.

Leading 59-47 with 1:30 left in the game, point guard Jamel Ramos (12 points) came up with a loose ball and tossed it up for Alonzo Vega, who grabbed the ball above the rim and dramatically flushed it – the exclamation point. Vega finished with a game-high 21 points.

“Those two, they practice that kind of crap all the time and it never works but it finally worked a little bit so we’re happy,” Hall said with a laugh.

Vega also threw down a one-handed dunk earlier in the third quarter. Trae Wells was Reed’s second-leading scorer with 17 points, including eight of Reed’s 14 points in the first quarter.

“We are happy to be winning games but we are far from where we need to be,” Hall said. “There are so many games to play and there are so many good teams that we have to keep improving because I bet that McQueen team will improve and everyone else is going to keep improving. So we’re not satisfied, these kids are hungry. They know what the bigger picture is.”

Reed will play just its fourth home game of the season Tuesday against North Valleys. Tip is at 7 p.m.

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