University High guard Eric Reed went to the bench midway through the third quarter for a breather having scored three points and team trailing Glen Oaks by three points.
When Reed returned, he did so with a greater sense of urgency.
Reed kick-started University’s best surge of the game, a two-minute stretch orchestrated on the defensive end, with eight straight points during an 11-0 run to give the Cubs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in a 55-41 home District 6-3A victory Tuesday over Glen Oaks.
“Sometimes you’re playing and get caught up in the moment and then you realize we had a game to play,” Reed said. “That’s when I said it was time. I should have been playing from the tip-off, and that’s something I have to work on.”
Reed scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half, including back-to-back 3-pointers that helped U-High erase a five-point deficit and kept the Cubs (15-9, 3-0) tied atop the league standings with Madison Prep Academy.
Reed’s second 3-pointer gave U-High a 33-32 lead with 1:33 to go in the third quarter. He added a pair of free throws and passed to Bryton Constantin for a key three-point play and 38-32 advantage with 37.8 seconds left.
Constantin led all scorers with 20 points.
“I thought, toward the end of the third quarter, we played with more energy,” U-High coach Joe Spencer said. “Everybody kind of turned it up a notch and that really helped us on the offensive end.”
U-High forced Glen Oaks (18-14, 1-3) into seven of its 13 turnovers in the second half, a sign of a depth-thin Panthers team that dressed eight players.
“We tried to keep it within striking distance, but they extended that press and may have rattled us a bit,” Glen Oaks coach Harvey Adger said. “There were some turnovers and Reed had a couple of big (3-pointers). Now it goes from a one possession to a three-possession game. I’m proud of the kids. They fought hard, but I think they just wore down.”
U-High took its first double-digit lead (51-41) with 1:57 remaining when Reed fed Constantin for his second 3-pointer, who scored his team’s last seven points of the game.
Glen Oaks, which shot 39 percent (9 of 23) in the second half, was outscored 31-19 over that span. James Weathers and Kevionta Spears each scored 12 to lead the Panthers.
Glen Oaks, relying on an active 2-3 zone, led for the first 11 minutes, opening as much as a 16-11 lead on Weathers’ 15-footer. Constantin responded with six consecutive points to trigger a stretch of five straight lead changes and a tie when Michael Douglas’ layup gave the Cubs a 24-22 halftime lead.
“We may have taken a few too many threes early,” said Spencer, whose team shot 41 percent (17 of 42) overall. “We usually shoot the ball well against a zone. They always have a great game plan. It was tough.”