The Reed boys gave Galena, the defending DI North champs, a scare Tuesday night on the road but never made the second-half run it needed in a 50-39 loss.
The Raiders dropped to 4-9, 1-4 in the DI North while the Grizzlies improved to 9-6, 3-2.
Reed first-year coach Zach Sanford wouldn’t call the gritty effort a moral victory, but did say there were positives to draw from the upset bid.
“I would say it’s more of a confidence builder. I don’t think it’s a moral victory,” Sanford said. “I think our guys believe now that we really can play with any team in the league.”
Freshman Matt Williams hit a jumper from the elbow on the Raiders’ first possession of the second half to creep Reed within two at 21-19. It was all Galena from that point on.
The Grizzlies responded with an 11-2 flurry and never looked back.
Zach Williams, who finished with a game-high 27 points, scored 12 of his points in the third quarter as Galena took a 38-25 lead to the fourth quarter.
“He (Williams) is good,” Sanford said. “He can shoot. He can play the post. He can play with his back to the basket. He was aggressive, very aggressive. He took advantage of every opportunity that was open.”
Grant Cotter hit a layup early in the fourth to get Reed within 10, 38-28, but the Grizzlies slowly grew the gap to 50-31 before the Raiders closed on an 8-0 run with backups in.
Lincoln Turner led the Raiders with 11 points as the whole team got familiar with the iron on Galena’s rims.
“I think the basket just looked small,” Sanford said. “At home those shots fall. On the road, they’re hard.”
At the half, Reed trailed just 21-17.
Jeremy Ramos hit a backdoor layup with 4:10 left in the second quarter to knot it at 16 but the Raiders did not hit another field goal the rest of the half.
Ramos’ layup finished off a 7-0 Reed run.
The Grizzlies led 14-9 after the first quarter.
The Raiders will look to get back in the win column on Friday night at home against Wooster.
“They’re coming for us and we’re going to ready for them,” Sanford said. “We just have to come out, prepare, learn from this and move on.”
Cougs pick up big win at Douglas
After starting DI North play 2-2, the Spanish Springs boys found themselves playing an atypically large game on Tuesday night at Douglas.
The Tigers entered just 4-8 overall but 3-1 against DI North opponents. Make it 4-9, 3-2.
Spanish Springs went back and forth with Douglas all night before separating late and hanging on for a pivotal 69-63 road win. The Cougars, who don’t own a particularly sexy overall record either, improved to 7-6, 3-2 in DI North battles.
Marcus Loadholt had an incredibly efficient night for the Cougs in the win. He finished with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-9 shooting, including 4-of-5 from behind the arc.
Three other Cougars finished in double figures. Bryce DeLong had 14, Josh Prizina had 12 and Ryan Anderson had 11 to go along with 10 boards.
The Cougars return to DI North play Friday night at Galena. Tip is at 7 p.m.