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Boys basketball: Wells awakens for Reed

Junior tallies 16 in second half to power Raiders past Hawks


12:00 AM, Jan. 26, 2013 EST

Reed Raiders Kenny Malizia shoots against the Hug Hawks during their basketball game played on Friday night, January 25, 2013 at Reed High School. / Tom R. Smedes/Special to RGJ

Trae Wells did not feel as if his shot was on Friday night -- he'd watched just one fall through more than 20 minutes -- and he passed up a wide-open jumper midway through the third quarter.

Reed coach Dustin Hall gave Wells just a little encouragement to shoot and Wells did just that the next five times he touched the ball, which worked out well for the Raiders.

Behind Wells' 16 second-half points, No. 5 Reed handed No. 3 Hug a 65-58 loss in front of a raucous home crowd.

"The thing that any of his teammates will say about Trae is that he's unselfish," Hall said. "He loves to pass the ball; he loves assists. But there is a point where he has to take the shot and I think he got that. Once he got aggressive it was nice to see."

Wells nailed a long 3-pointer that kick started him and he added a pair of difficult three-point plays early in the fourth quarter, the second of which he kissed high off the backboard as he was more or less tackled, that help Reed (11-7, 7-4 High Desert) turn a five-point halftime lead into an 18-point advantage, which was too much for the unbalanced Hawks to overcome.

"My shot was just a little tweaked off and I lost my confidence for a little while," said Wells, who averages 18 points but had just two at halftime. "But my teammates and my coach boosted me back up and I started shooting better. ... I was still looking to get my teammates the ball but I was shooting well again so I kept knocking them down.

"This was a big confidence-booster for us. We needed this to get a good look going into the playoffs."

The win was Reed's first over the myriad Division I North contenders. The Raiders were 0-7 against the division's top six teams, with five of the losses by an average of four points.

"This was a big one. We'd had a lot of close losses to the upper-echelon teams in the area," Hall said. "It was one where we needed it for ourselves and the effort was phenomenal for most of the game."

Alonzo Vega added 14 points and Ty Shepard had 10 for the Raiders, who kept alive their shot at a league title with two weeks to play and kept Hug (16-6, 9-3) from clinching a playoff berth.

Hug could have used the balanced offensive attack Reed utilized. Sam Williams was the only Hawks player in double-figures and the senior's 32 points represented 55 percent of Hug's scoring.

"We got outplayed," Hug coach Keith Crawford said. "I thought we played decent in the first half, listened to the game plan. I think in the second half we kind of went to some selfish basketball and ended up losing the game by seven points."

The Hawks frantically formed a comeback attempt in the fourth and cut Reed's lead to seven with less than a minute to play.

"They wanted it more than we did," Crawford said. "We can say whatever we want to say but Reed wanted this game more than Hug did."

 

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