The only thing that slowed Pikeville senior forward Bruce Reed in his homecoming Thursday afternoon at Municipal Auditorium was foul trouble.
But Reed, a graduate of Olathe East, put on a show on both ends of the court in the first 8 minutes until his second foul sent him to the bench for the rest of the half.
In those 8 minutes, Lindenwood-Belleville (Ill.) had no solution to stop or even slow Reed in the first round game of the NAIA Division I men’s basketball tournament.
The hot start contributed to Pikeville’s easy 103-76 victory. Pikeville, the No. 2 seed, improved to 31-2.
“It definitely feels good to get the first one,” said Reed, a 6-foot-7 forward who finished with 12 points, three blocks and three rebounds. “But we still have a lot of work to do. We are not done yet.”
The Bears will play St. Gregorys at 12:30 p.m. today in the second round.
“He was player of the year in our conference,” Pikeville coach Kelly Wells said. “I think he has an opportunity to be national player of the year. His experience has been a key factor for this team.”
Reed had the type of start that any Kansas City native dreams of having in a national tournament in his hometown. He was able to do it in front of his mom, sister, friends and high school coach Jim Super.
“It was definitely a surprise to see him,” Reed said of Super. “He came down and talked to me for a minute.”
Reed made the trip to Municipal worthwhile. Thirty seconds into the game, he blocked a shot. He then delivered an assist for a three-pointer for the first points of the game.
With the game tied, Reed floated outside and nailed a three-pointer. On the return trip, Reed dropped in a baby hook that gave the Bears an 11-6 lead.
A minute later, Reed showed his hustle by diving on the floor and corralling a loose ball. A little later, Reed got another assist on a three-pointer that gave Pikeville a 16-6 lead. Seconds after that, he had a monster block that caused chatter in the crowd.
Reed accomplished all of this in only 5 minutes. Several seconds later, Reed had a put-back basket off an offensive rebound that increased the Bears’ lead to 21-6.
“It was pure adrenaline, just enjoying the moment,” Reed said.
Pikeville’s lead grew to 28-10 when the Reed show was shut down after he picked up his second foul, with 11:38 left in the first half.
Reed went to the bench and watched senior Keala King, Josh Whitaker and Chris Cantino score in nearly every imaginable way. King finished with a game-high 32 points.
“We don’t need Superman on our team,” Wells said. “We need a great team effort, not only Bruce, but the full 15 on our team.”
Pikeville went into halftime with a commanding 60-36 lead.
Unfortunately for Reed, only a couple of minutes clicked off the clock when he picked up his third foul early in the second half, and he returned to the bench for another lengthy stay.
Reed had to be patient and wait for his time to return. But patience is something Reed understands and used to get where he is at today.
His journey back to Kansas City was filled with a few stops along the way. He started his college career at Hutchinson Community College. He then went to Morehead State before finding his new home at Pikeville this season.
“He was a player with great potential,” Super said. “He just needed to get stronger and aggressive. From what I have seen, he has taken that to heart. He has gotten a lot stronger and a lot more aggressive.”St Gregory’s (Okla.) 84, Wiley (Texas) 69
After leading the entire first half, St. Gregory’s faced a three-point deficit right after halftime. But when Tilford Thornton scored in the paint with 17:10 left, St. Gregorys never trailed again.
Josiah Campbell had a double-double for the Cavaliers, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. Marty Wilkerson led St. Gregory’s with 20 points.Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) 71, Montana State-Northern 63
In a game in which neither team took a double-digit lead, Freed-Hardeman used strong shooting and even better defense to win.
Freed-Hardeman led 35-34 after shooting a blistering 68 percent in the first half. In the second half, Freed-Hardeman turned up its defense, forcing Montana State-Northern to shoot 29 percent.
Orlando Bass led the way for Freed-Hardeman, hitting nine of 13 shots from the field and finishing with 24 points.Talladega (Ala.) 88, Evangel (Mo.) 71
At halftime, Evangel was tied 33-33 with No. 7 seed Talladega. But 3 minutes into the second half, Talladega took control. Its 41-35 lead ballooned to 46-37. By midway through the second half, Evangel was down by double digits.
Evangel finished 23-11.
Junior Charles Winborne led Talladega with 38 points, including eight three-pointers.