Cold shooting hurts Coyotes against Grant

REED CITY — The Central State Activities Association Gold Division schedule continues for Reed City with a trip to Chippewa Hills on Friday night.

On Jan. 19, the Coyotes were scheduled to play at Central Montcalm.

Monday night, Reed City is home against non-league rival Pine River.

Grant made a huge run when it counted on Jan. 12.

The Tigers overcame a slow start and used a 14-5 advantage over Reed City in the third quarter to take a 66-48 league victory.

The Coyotes had a hot scoring touch in the first quarter but went cold the rest of the way.

“That’s been our season,” Reed City coach Dean McGuire said. “I thought we took some good shots. I’ll have to take a look at the film and double check. They were collapsing hard on the drive, we’d kick it out, guys were wide open, but the shots were not falling.”

Reed City fired out to huge early leads in the first quarter but Grant eventually got back in and it was tied 33-33 at halftime.

Andre Jones hit three straight free throws to open the game and followed with a 3-point play minutes later. Mykel Dillard, Collin Hatfield and Taylor Pelton all hit 3-pointers, and Reed City was up 23-13 going into the second.

The Coyotes couldn’t find their scoring touch in the second quarter although Logan Straub and Hatfield both netted 3-pointers. Tyler Lopez scored late in the quarter to give Grant its first lead 30-29.

“We just started poorly,” Grant coach Josh Delamater said. “We don’t get out of the gates very well. They took advantage of it and hit some big shots and threes early. Once we finally matched their intensity, things started turning around for us.”

Grant took control in the third quarter and led at 3:20 on Ethan Cousineau’s free throws. The Coyotes continued to struggle offensively and when Spencer Naffziger scored inside late in the third, Grant had a 47-38 lead it carried into the fourth. Trevor Throop’s free throws gave the Tigers a 52-38 advantage at 6:30. Trent Sturgell’s two straight baskets cut the Grant lead to 52-44. Cousineau’s two free throws at 2:50 made it 56-46.

Caleb Doane scored inside and Reed City turned the ball over for a 60-48 Tiger lead at 1:20. The Coyotes continued to struggle with their shots and Grant sealed the win.

“They run a dribble, drive and kick,” Delamater said. “We worked on some things in practice, and we weren’t running it the way we were supposed to. At halftime, we talked about it and we did a great job of making sure they weren’t coming around and getting those shots.”

Hatfield led Reed City with nine points, while Straub and Pelton added seven apiece. Doane led Grant with 15 points and Naffziger added 12.

“They’re big and just pushed us around on the glass,” McGuire said. “I don’t know how many offensive rebounds they got. We didn’t block out.”