Alex Reed’s football season ended early because of an injury.
The Lewis Central senior wasn’t going to let the same thing happen in his final high school basketball game. Despite an ankle injury that kept him out for parts of the second and third quarters, Reed’s clutch shooting helped the Titans extend their season.
Reed’s late-game free throws helped propel L.C. (7-15) past crosstown rival Abraham Lincoln 56-46 in overtime in a Class 4-A regional quarterfinal Monday night.
“I was not going to come out of that game for anything,” Reed said. “I’m a competitor, and I didn’t want to look on and watch someone else win the game.”
He didn’t have to.
With the Titans nursing a 48-46 lead with 36 seconds to play in overtime, the Lynx broke out a full-court press. The ball came to Reed, and the referees called a foul against A.L. (5-17).
Lynx coach Jason Isaacson stood up to protest the call, while addressing the official, which drew a technical foul — and gave the Titans four free throws.
Reed buried them all.
“I guess it’s a rule,” Isaacson said, “but it takes a game we were still in out of our hands.”
With that, L.C. had a six-point lead and the ball. He later added two more foul shots for the final pair of his game-high 20 points — 15 of which came in the fourth quarter and overtime.
In the extra frame, the Titans were 10 for 10 from the foul line.
“That’s the difference,” L.C. coach Dan Miller said.” A lot of times when teams are evenly matched, it comes down to free throws and turnovers.”
Turnovers pushed the game’s tempo in the first half. Both the Lynx and Titans were turning the opposition’s giveaways into fast-break opportunities.
Lewis Central pounded the ball inside, while A.L. relied on its outside shooting. And while the baskets started falling more often as the game progressed, both teams maintained their uptempo attacks.
A.L. used seven 3-pointers, including four from junior Zach Blair, who led the Lynx with 16 points, to get back into the game after falling behind in the second quarter.
The Lynx grabbed their first lead with four minutes remaining in the third quarter on Colton Tracy’s putback. A.L. held a slim lead for much of the fourth quarter, but the Titans never trailed in overtime.
“We had the right guys shooting the ball,” Isaacson said. “They just sped it up too much and were rushing.”
Next up for the Titans (7-15) is a trip to Class 4-A No. 9 Sioux City East (21-1) on Friday night in the regional semifinal. Lewis Central lost its season opener to the Black Raiders 75-34 back in November.
Miller was impressed by his team’s resolve on Monday — which helped the Titans survive for another do-or-die game.
“I’m really proud of the guys, considering how the season’s gone,” Miller said. “It’d have been easy to pack it up and go home.”
Abraham Lincoln (5-17) ................. 8 10 13 11 4—46
Lewis Central (7-15) ................. 8 14 9 11 14—56
AL: Colton Tracy 11; Sean Smith 4; Brian Johnson 2; Connor Gann 8; Zach Blair 16; Kyle Crowl 3; Billy Coats 2
LC: Alex Reed 20; Lincoln Rodenburg 11; Cody Cook 3; Toby Korner 4; Tony Rew 3; Kyler Nixon 10; Kyle Larson 2; Mitch Brinkman 1; Ryan Waldron 2