The Raiders and Railroaders entered the Rail City Classic's seventh-place game, hoping for their first win in the Sparks High tourney in order to avoid finishing in last place.
The RHS crew broke open a 12-12 game with a 24-0 run and was never severely threatened again it its 71-51 triumph over Sparks.
"I think we just realized we weren't playing with the intensity we needed to be playing with," Reed coach Dustin Hall said. "I think the defense sparked us. We got a couple steals and hit some shots. We haven't been shooting well, and I think some guys finally got hot."
When Sparks coach Dick Lee set up the bracket for the eight-team field, wishful thinking had him hoping the two local schools would meet in the winners' side of the bracket.
"Ideally we would have loved to face them in the championship game," Lee said "We would have loved to fill up the Brickhouse and kind of have it like it was back in the mid-90s when it was a rivalry."
That didn't end up being the case, but fans did get to see the two squads go punch for punch for a quarter.
The Railroaders even had a shot to stay in the game if they had just kept their fundamental mistakes to a minimum.
"I thought in the first quarter we could have gotten up by six points because Reed hadn't woken up yet," Lee said. "We turned the ball over and gave up too many offensive boards, which resulted in threes. We thought we had a solid game plan as long as we controlled the tempo. Once the tempo got upbeat, they were better than us."
Offensive rebounds killed the Maroon and Gold. Reed was getting as many as five shots at the basket every time down the floor, and it eventually broke open the game.
After Henry Houston scored on a layup down low for Sparks, tying the game at 12-12, 27 seconds into the second quarter, Reed instituted a full-court press and it was all over. The Blue and Gold forced six turnovers in the backcourt during its string of 24 unanswered points.
Making matters worse for the hosts was the fact they didn't box out. The Raiders weren't just settling for simple putbacks after their offensive boards. They were able to kick the ball out for wide-open looks behind the arc and nailed six 3-pointers during the 24-0 spurt that took less than three and a half minutes.
"We've been averaging about four threes a game. We shoot a lot of threes. We just haven't been making a lot," Hall said. "It was nice, but I think we still shot about 35 tonight. Percentage wise we're still not where we need to be."
However, Sparks had one good push left. Only a Mike Powell 3-pointer prevented the Railroaders from going on a 15-0 run. By scoring 15 of the final 18 points of the half, Sparks cut the deficit down to 39-27 at the break.
But it didn't take long for the Raiders to get the gap back up to 20 points after outscoring the Railroaders 9-1 in the first 2:40 of the second half. Reed pushed the lead to a game-high 66-37 with 6:40 to play in the game.
Reed junior Aaron Greenblat led all scorers with 19 points, including four 3-pointers. Powell, Lennox Pierce and Taylor Yancey all finished in double figures with 14, 11 and 10 points respectively.
Junior Angel Guillen paced Sparks' offense with 15 points, while Martin Jordan added 11.
Both teams return to action on Jan. 1 when they partake in Carson High's tournament.