Reynolds avenges an early-season loss and snaps Forest Groves four-game win streak

TROUTDALE — The Reynolds boys basketball team locked down Forest Grove’s shooters down the stretch Friday night to hold on for a 58-53 non-conference win.

Leading by three points heading into the final two minutes, Reynolds coach John Poetsch gave his team clear instructions.

“We didn’t want (Michael Garcia) or (Taylor Jensen) to beat us — they weren’t going to get any clean looks,” Poetsch said.

Both players were able to get three-point attempts off in the closing minutes, but they were tightly guarded an each one.

The result?

Forest Grove saw four straight long balls clip the rim and bounce out.

The Vikings gave up their last chance to force overtime on a travelling violation with 12.9 seconds left.

Reynolds junior Brandon Williams sealed the victory with a pair of free throws at the other end, allowing the Raiders to avenge a 16-point loss to the Vikings in the title game of the Aloha High Tournament to start the season.

“Our defense was better tonight,” Poetsch said. “We handled their pressure and were able to punish them when they came after us.”

The Raiders trailed by one heading into the locker room, but opened the second half on a nine-point run to build a lead they would never surrender.

Devante Warren sparked the surge with a three-pointer out of the corner. He followed that by cleaning up a breakaway chance at the front of the rim. Williams intercepted a pass in the backcourt and beat a rush of red shirts to the rim for another layup.

“We knew the game wasn’t about to be over,” Williams said. “We had to capitalize on turnovers and keep our focus.”

Reynolds found itself with a 47-40 lead early in the fourth quarter after Warren sneaked a pass through a double-team, allowing teammate Skyler Johnson to make a quick turn to the hoop for an easy layup.

Forest Grove gave itself a chance late when Rodney Jensen hit a three, and later took a pass from Zac Collins for an easy lay-in that brought the Vikings within two points with five minutes to play.

Warren led the Raiders with 19 points and Williams added 13.

Rodney Jensen led Forest Grove with 15 points, while Garcia and John Cirlincione added 11 apiece.

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