Big Rapids' Martin scores 23 as Cardinals take rivalry over Coyotes

REED CITY — Big Rapids boys basketball didn’t have to look any further than number 24 for a jolt in its 62-48 rivalry win over Reed City on Friday.

Sophomore Demetri Martin (24) led the Cardinals with a 23-point effort, fueling the team past archrival Reed City.

Big Rapids advances to 12-5.

“We played probably as well as we have all year long,” Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles said. “Our bench gave some good contributions and Martin had his usual game. He’s hard to guard, and he has played more under control than he had earlier in the year.”

Martin’s scoring in the first half gave the Cardinals a significant advantage over the Coyotes as he scored 15 points in the first two quarters alone. Big Rapids led 33-20 at halftime.

“Give Big Rapids credit because they played very well and Martin played a heck of a game,” Reed City coach Dean McGuire said. “I got a feeling that we aren’t going to be the only team to have a hard time guarding him.”

The Coyotes continued to struggle matching the Cardinals’ scoring output in the second half. Reed City fell behind 50-24 at the end of the third quarter.

A late fourth quarter push led by junior guard Andre Jones fell flat as the Coyotes’ 19-point fourth quarter wasn’t enough. The Coyotes drop to 8-8 and 5-5 in the Central State Activities Association Gold Division.

“Obviously not our best (performance) tonight,” McGuire said. “We didn’t contain (Martin). He got to the basket at will, and we will have to do a better job against him if we see them in the districts.”

Senior forward Chris Barton scored a team-high 11 points, and Jones scored eight points.

“They out-hustled us, and that’s very disappointing,” McGuire said. “I thought, coming in, we had been playing some pretty good basketball. But we just didn’t attack their zone very well.”

Big Rapids junior center Ryan Mackall also scored eight points.

“The past few days leading up to this was the best practices we had all year long,” Ingles said. “I think we brought some of that intensity with us.

“We just want to finish out the season strong.”

The Cardinals move to 7-3 in the CSAA Gold and host Chippewa Hills on at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Reed City plays Tuesday at Central Montcalm.