REED CITY – Reed City boys basketball coach JJ Eads was expecting improvement in his second season as Coyote coach with having a year under his belt and having a team with more experience.

The improvement was by eight games with the Coyotes going from a 4-17 record to 12-9.

Key moments were victories for Big Rapids and Fremont, who shared the Central State Activities Association Gold Division title.

“We went in the right direction,” Eads said. “It showed we could compete with all the teams in our league and the area. Overall we’re going in the right direction.”

On nights when the Coyotes were at their best, “we just jelled as a team, Eads said. “We were sharing the ball and talking on defense. We did things the right way.”

For the most part, the Coyotes were healthier this season, but not totally.

“Karsten (Koopman) had a knee issue, but played through it as much as he could and I thought he did a nice job with that,” Eads said. “We had some sickness and nagging injuries here and there. Zac Saez for districts was playing on a bumb ankle and a bumb knee. Besides that, we were relatively healhy and that helped.”

The Coyotes lose three seniors, including leading scorer Karsten Koopman.

“We return eight or nine guys,” Eads said. “That is exciting. Karsten was a big piece of our team. We’ll have big shoes with him leaving. But I’m excited with all the guys returning. You don’t get that too often.”