Coyote boys beat Newaygo

Zac Saez soars to the basket for Reed City.
Zac Saez soars to the basket for Reed City.

REED CITY — Karsten Koopman enjoyed a strong home debut for his Reed City Coyotes against Newaygo in the Central State Activities Association Gold Division opener for both teams on Friday.

Koopman, a Coyote senior, scored a career-high 32 points in a 79-72 boys basketball win.

It was Newaygo’s first game of the season. Reed City (1-1) opened the season on Tuesday with a 51-36 loss to non-league foe Cadillac.

The Coyotes took a 36-34 lead into the second half.

“It was definitely a game of runs,” Reed City coach JJ Eads said. “Both teams were competitive all night. Every time we got a few they came back and when they would score a few, we’d come back.”

Koopman scored off the glass for a 44-41 lead midway in the quarter.

Anthony Pelton and Brandon Wirth both had 3-pointers in the first quarter which ended in a 19-16 Reed City lead.

Koopman was moving well to the basket in the second quarter and hit six field goals including one at the buzzer for the two-point lead.

Phillip Jones’ reverse-side layup made it a 51-47 Coyote lead at 1:39. Preston Johnson hit two layups late in the third for a 55-49 lead. It was 55-50 going into the fourth.

Wirth scored for Reed City to open the fourth. But Newaygo went on a brief spurt and took a 59-58 lead at 5:35 to play on a steal and basket by Morgen Manlock. The two teams went back-and-forth from there. Saez’s two free throws gave the Coyotes a 68-64 lead with 3:01 to play. He hit a 3-pointer at 2:05 for a 71-68 edge. Koopman added two free throws moments later for a 73-68 lead. He had a putback with 59 seconds to go for a 76-70 lead and the Coyotes were able to run out the clock.

Koopman’s previous high was 19.

“There was a mismatch on me and my teammates fed me the ball,” Koopman said. “I had the hot hand and they just kept giving it to me.”

Wirth had 13 points while Preston Johnson added nine and Anthony Pelton had seven points.

“It was too many points for us to give up,” Eads said. “But Newaygo shot the ball well. Give them credit. We were trying to run with them early and I thought we did OK. The second half, we slowed it down and obviously wanted to give it to Karsten. He had a big game and we wanted to keep giving him the ball.”

Connor Swinehart had 22 points for Newaygo.

“It was a tough game to open up with,” Newaygo coach Nate Thomasma said. “It’s a good Reed City team on the road and they got a chance to play Tuesday. Our kids weren’t quite ready for the speed. We had to make sure we made the adjustments to get ready for the speed in this league and good teams like Reed City.”

Reed City is home against Fremont on Friday in CSAA action.

“The kids are all chipping in,” Eads said. “We have to make some better decision making. We need some major decision making in taking care of the ball. I’m glad we had different guys step up.”