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Reed states his case as Canisius tops St. Joe’s

All season long, Kyle Husband has insisted LaTerrance Reed is an All-Western New York talent.

It’s doubtful anyone is going to argue that point with the Canisius High School coach anytime soon. St. Joe’s counterpart Mark Simon surely isn’t about to take Husband to task after watching the junior swingman’s shooting display Saturday afternoon at the home of Canisius College’s Golden Griffins.

Reed’s long-range shooting prowess enabled the Crusaders to get the better of their longtime Monsignor Martin Association rival, 71-60, in a boys basketball game played before an estimated 1,500 at the Koessler Athletic Center. Reed sank five straight three-pointers during the second half, enabling Canisius, The Buffalo News’ No. 1 Large School, to get the cushion it needed to remain unbeaten against Western New York schools.

“Coach, he thinks highly of me,” said Reed, who finished with a game-high 24 points, seven assists and three steals. “Second half, I came out and was feeling it. … My teammates took the initiative and told me I was one of the best point guards in Western New York and it was time to go out there and lead us. I think with me going out there and scoring the ball a little bit I took the initiative and did what I had to do for the team.”

“He hit five threes in one half and that’s not the first time he’s done that, whether it was Nichols or Jamestown or today,” Husband said. “Every big game he steps up, plays with great energy, plays his tail off on defense and puts the ball in the bucket for us.”

Reed is the biggest reason St. Joe’s (7-11, 4-4) left the court for the second time in three weeks frustrated it failed to notch a signature win over the Crusaders (14-3, 8-0).

After a not-so-good first half in which he scored just two points, Reed poured in 14 during his team’s 22-15 third quarter. He scored 10 points during a 12-0 burst that turned a 37-34 deficit with six minutes left into a Canisius advantage it never relinquished. His first three-pointer from in front of the Crusaders’ bench broke a 37-37 tie with 5:04 left in the period.

Twelve seconds later after a Justin Jones steal, Stafford Trueheart found Reed standing in the same spot during transition and he unleashed another trey that hit nothing but net. Forty seconds later, Reed made it 46-37. Reed’s fourth in a row was a turnaround jumper from about 23 feet as he beat a Marauders defender to a loose ball.

“I’ve got a lot of tricks up my sleeve,” Reed said. “The shot clock was winding down, the ball was in my hands, he was playing in back of me so I had to knock it down.”

St. Joe’s pulled within 56-51 on Marcell Davis’ three-point play with 6:11 left. Davis finished with 19 points and eight rebounds.

All that Marauders’ work went for naught as Reed drained another dagger from downtown seconds later.

“That might have been the difference in what was a great war,” Simon said of Reed’s baskets.

St. Joe’s led after one quarter, 17-13, as its aggressive play momentarily staggered the Crusaders. They regained their footing thanks to Jones, who has stepped up his play the past couple of weeks, according to Husband. Jones had nine of his 13 points in the first half, including six during the second quarter – highlighted by a dunk in transition off a feed from Reed that increased Canisius’ lead to 22-18. The Crusaders led at halftime, 31-30.

Jones finished with four steals and played like a pest on defense.

Trueheart finished with 15 points and eight rebounds for Canisius, while Madut Ayiy had nine rebounds and six blocks.

Canisius reserve forward TJ Wheatley missed the game. According to Husband, Wheatley is spending the weekend trying to determine his football playing future.

The News’ football Player of the Year has offers from UCLA, USC, Alabama, Michigan and Oregon. National signing day is Wednesday and Wheatley has said he’ll likely take it the distance in regards to making his decision.