A defensive win: Big Rapids boys pull out 33-16 win over Reed City

Shorthanded Coyotes tried to slowdown Cardinals in Friday showdown

REED CITY – Slow, patient and deliberate.

That was the strategy for Reed City in Friday’s Central State Activities Association boys basketball opening game against Big Rapids.

Big Rapids was able get enough done for a 33-16 win.

Both teams won their openers on Tuesday in anticipation of Friday’s showdown.

After Dawson Dunn opened the game with a triple, Reed City went into a pass-the-ball-around half-court offense to keep the ball away from the speedy, explosive Big Rapids team. It stayed 3-0 after the first quarter.

Dunn scored to open the second quarter although the Coyotes continued the slowdown strategy. Teddy Szymanski’s free throw for RC’s first point made it 7-1. Zander Prince’s 3-point play gave BR a 12-2 lead. Reed City’s first field goal, a layup by Xavier Allen at the buzzer, made it a 14-3 halftime score.

“We played good defense holding them to 16 points,” Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles said. “When you play a game like this, every play is a big play. Every call from an official is a big call. I don’t know if they’re going to play that way or if it was especially for us.”

BR opened the third with a 5-0 run.

Reed City continued its offensive strategy and stayed within reach. But when Prince hit two free throws for a 30-16 lead with 3:33 to play, BR was in good shape.

Teddy Szymanski had seven points for Reed City while Isiah Zelinski added four.

Reed City coach Brennan Walsh, a former Big Rapids assistant, said the slowdown strategy was to avoid a shootout against a high-powered Cardinal offense.

“We didn’t have the bodies to do it,” he said. “We have seven dressed and we couldn’t sustain this all game long. When we played them more aggressive and played them straight up, we were even with them.”

Seth Jackson and Spencer Hansen, two expected Coyote starters, are out for the season with injuries. Another player has a groin injury, another has a foot injury and another was ineligible from a Tuesday game ejection.

“It’s the cards we were dealt with,” Walsh said.

Reed City is home with Grant on Friday.