Big Rapids girls end Reed City’s season

BIG RAPIDS — Reed City’s girls basketball season ended with a 51-27 district semifinal victory over Big Rapids lat Wednesday night.

“I thought the kids came out and played hard from the get-go,” Big Rapids coach Jessica Haist said. “They had some good intensity early. We talk about playing for the full game. We kind of lighten up once in awhile. We stuck with it. Our press was effective. We made it difficult to get the ball up the court. That was our goal. I thought they did a nice job.”

Chloe Kinnally and Alexis Lyman got Big Rapids off to a quick start with one 3-pointer apiece in the first quarter.

Kailey Hunt scored off the glass for a 14-2 lead at 2:20, while the Coyotes struggled offensively. It was 15-2 going into the second.

Hunt scored off the glass to open the second quarter. Keylee Aemisegger hit a free throw and Brianna Westhoff connected for a field goal to end Reed City’s scoring drought.

The Cardinal full-court defense continued to thwart Reed City.

Lyman’s 3-pointer gave her team a 20-5 lead at 5:55. Hunt scored off the glass moments later for a 27-6 advantage. Emily Libey countered with two free throws at the other end for Reed City. Price and Megan Donley hit back-to-back triples to cut the Cardinal lead to 28-13 at halftime.

Olds had a putback for Reed City midway in the quarter to make it 32-17.

Moments later, Aliza Hengesbach scored off a well-executed fast break to give Big Rapids a 36-17 lead. It was 42-17 going into the fourth quarter

At the buzzer, Kinnally took a desperation semihook in the corner from outside the arc. The ball swished through the net and even drew a startled reaction from Kinnally after she realized the shot was good.

“I knew we were going to be a rattled,” Reed City coach Brian Koopman said. “We weathered the storm. We came back out in the second half and got it down to 12 or 13. They took a quick time out. Then we fell apart again.”

It was the third win over Reed City for Big Rapids this season.

“You have to give Big Rapids credit,” Koopman said. “They kept coming at us. We panicked and lot of times we (didn’t) get the ball in.”

Price led the Coyotes with seven points.

Hunt led Big Rapids with 18 points, while Kinnally and Lyman had 11 apiece.

Reed City ended the season at 0-21. The Coyotes had no returning starters on this year’s team and lost one of their top prospects, Lauren Voelker, to an ACL injury in the season opener.