Big first half lifts Reed City past Warriors

ON GUARD: Reed City's Chad Samuels (left) sticks with Chippewa Hills' Qunnell Key during Thursday's basketball action. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)
ON GUARD: Reed City's Chad Samuels (left) sticks with Chippewa Hills' Qunnell Key during Thursday's basketball action. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

REMUS -- It was a first half the Reed City Coyotes enjoyed playing. But it was one the Chippewa Hills Warriors would just as soon forget.

Chad Samuels scored 13 of his points while Jacob Vincent and Ryan Willis combined for 19 more to ignite the Coyote to a 48-27 halftime advantage and a 73-46 Central State Activities Association boys basketball victory Thursday night over the Warriors.

Samuels wound up with 19 points, while Willis had 13 and Vincent added 12.

“I’ve seen a few films on Chippewa Hills,” said Reed City coach Dean McGuire. “They play a tough man-to-man and they gave Big Rapids all they wanted at their gym here on Monday. Big Rapids is of course having a great season. So I give our kids a lot of credit. This is as emotional as I’ve seen them all year. We had two really good days of practice and it showed (Thursday).”

Jacob Tarbell scored 15 points and Peter Lewandowski added 11 for the Warriors.

Reed City, coming off a frustrating shooting night in a loss at Lakeview Monday, came out strong against the Warriors with an effective full-court press that kept the Warriors off stride.

Willis had a 3-point play to give his team a 9-4 lead early in the quarter. Joshua Saez had the play of the game when he took the inbounds pass with about two seconds left and at the buzzer sank a 3-pointer from just outside the mid-court line for a 25-14 lead.

The Coyote momentum continued into the second quarter.

Dean Eichenberg drove for a pair and 32-18 lead at 5:19 of the second. Tarbell netted three straight free throws to cut the Reed City advantage to 36-23. Vincent's 3-point play seconds later in the quarter gave the visitors a 39-23 advantage.

“They really came out with a purpose. I was pleased with the way they came out,” McGuire said. “Chad Samuels and Josh Saez, in my opinion, were the guys up front. They played together as a team.”

The press by Reed City was effective, acknowledged Chippewa Hills coach Mark PeLong

“We handled the press the other night against Big Rapids really well,” PeLong said. “(Thursday), we did not. We did not execute what we needed to. They executed in every phase of the game.”

At 3:10 of the third quarter, Tarbell picked up his fourth foul on Samuels’ 3-point try and Samuels followed with three foul shots for a 53-31 lead. Nolan Patterson made a steal and passed to Samuels for a layup and 57-33 lead late in the third.

Lewandowski had five points for the Warriors in the third quarter, but it was 59-38, Coyotes, going into the fourth.

The Warriors tried to make a run at the lead in the fourth quarter but were stymied when at 6:26, Tarbell drew his fifth foul. Kyle Wright’s baseliner gave the Coyotes a 64-44 lead at 5:28. Moments later, another Warrior starter, Logan Ball, fouled out.

“We took care of the ball and didn’t have as many turnovers,” Vincent said.

Eichenberg hit four straight free throws to give his team a 68-44 lead.

In the first half, especially, “they must have hit 60 to 70 percent of their shots,” PeLong said. “If we execute our offense, we’re right there with them.”

Reed City, 4-4 overall and 3-3 in the league, is home with Hesperia on Monday. Chippewa Hills, 2-4 and 3-4, is home against Morley Stanwood Monday.


Reed City 25 23 11 14 -- 73

Chippewa Hills 14 13 11 -- 46


Joshua Saez 1(1) 3-6 8, Chad Samuels 4(1) 8-12 19, Kyle Wright 3 0-0 6, Ryan Willis 5 3-3 13, Jacob Vincent 4 4-5 12, Dean Eichenberg 1 4-4 6, Trevor Nelson 2 0-0 4, Eric Grannis 1 1-2 3, Nolan Patterson 1 0-0 2. Totals 22(2) 23-32 73.


Logan Ball 2 0-2 4, Jacob Tarbell 2(2) 5-7 15. Quanell Key 2 0-0 4, Peter Lewandowski 5 1-4 11, Christopher VanCuren 1 4-4 6, Levi Metcalf 0 2-2 2, Dylan Kimble 1 0-0 2, Mark Miller 0 0-1 0, Nolan Denslow 1 0-0 2. Totals 14(2) 12-20 46.