Big Rapids girls hold back Reed City

STANTON — Emily Libey led Reed City with 10 points while Layla Yost had seven and Meghan Borst six in Friday’s 70-36 Central State Activities Gold Division loss at Central Montcalm.

“We got down and never recovered, everything went their way,” Reed City coach Brian Koopman said. “Defensively, we didn’t do a very good job. We have recoup from that. I thought my kids played hard. They just didn’t finish.”

Reed City (4-6, 2-4) was home against Clare on Tuesday and is at Newaygo on Friday.

Meanwhile, the last time Big Rapids and Reed City met in girls basketball action, the Coyotes scored a district semifinal upset win en route to the title last March.

Big Rapids (6-3, 4-1) reigned supreme this time over Reed City (3-5, 1-3) 50-36 in Central State Activities Association Gold Division girls basketball action on Wednesday.

“We wanted to push the ball since the past few games we’ve been slowing it down,” Big Rapids senior Aliza Hengesbach said. “We wanted to get more into the transition.”

Hengesbach had a baseline drive late in the first quarter to spearhead Big Rapids to a 13-7 lead. Hengesbach drove again early in the second for a 19-10 lead as the Reed City offense struggled. Savanna Seath had a 3-pointer early in the quarter. Kaitiln Ray scored just before the buzzer to give Big Rapids a 26-16 halftime lead.

“When the game gets physical, sometimes we self destruct,” Big rapids coach Jessica Haist said. “ We just have to stay confident. We have to wait for our shots instead of forcing them.”

“I thought the first quarter set the tone,” Koopman said. “Other than that our defense we did well. Offensively, we had looks. We got down by 10 and that’s the ballgame.”

Jayla Strickland had two baskets in the third to help Big Rapids build a 32-18 lead. Strickland, a standout transfer from Crossroads, was making her Big Rapids debut.

“We wanted her to be comfortable and be in the game,” Hengesbach said.

Reed City netted six straight points on two baskets from Libey and one from Jordyn Storch to end the quarter to make it 32-24.

Ray’s triple made it 38-26, Cardinals, early in the fourth. Grace White scored on a drive for a 43-28 lead at 4:19. Strickland scored off a feed inside for a 46-29 lead at 1:30.

“(Reed City) comes to play,” Haist said. “They know our kids and what we like to do.”

Hengesbach had 14 points, White had 12 and Ray seven for Big Rapids. Libey had 11 and Storch seven for Reed City.