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Hot start propels Raiders to win over Lancers
by Nathan Shoup
Feb 07, 2014 | 936 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed junior point guard Jamel Ramos works around McQueen's Patrick DeLeon in Friday's 60-45 home win over the Lancers. Ramos finished with a team-high 17 points.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed junior point guard Jamel Ramos works around McQueen's Patrick DeLeon in Friday's 60-45 home win over the Lancers. Ramos finished with a team-high 17 points.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - The white-out Reed student section looks over a recent newspaper during pregame introductions Friday night. Loud at times, the group was relatively mum with its team leading by double digits for the majority of the contest.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - The white-out Reed student section looks over a recent newspaper during pregame introductions Friday night. Loud at times, the group was relatively mum with its team leading by double digits for the majority of the contest.
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The Reed boys rode a big first quarter in front of the largest student section of the year, Friday night, to a 60-45 home win over McQueen.

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.

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