Coyote boys prepare to take on Clare in districts
REED CITY — The regular season ended Saturday on a wild note for the Reed City boys basketball team and the Coyotes are hoping for a calm, but successful week when they play at Big Rapids in the Class B districts.
Reed City plays Clare Wednesday night in the Class B district semifinals. The winner advances to the title game on Friday.
Lakeview scored a layup at the buzzer for the 84-83 double-time victory Saturday in the regular season finale.
“We were down by three in regulation with approximately four seconds,” said coach Dean McGuire. “Josh Saez, our point guard, let the ball roll a little bit (to prevent the clock from starting) and then picked it up. The clock started at that point, he made a beautiful crosscourt pass to Chad Samuels who was about four feet behind the 3-point line and had to shoot it as the buzzer was going off.”
The ball went through the hoop to send the game into overtime.
“That was pretty dramatic,” McGuire said. “We went down four points immediately in both overtimes. Lakeview got two buckets real quick in both overtimes. We came back in the first overtime and made another dramatic shot to tie it and put it into second overtime. We were down by two points with five seconds left and Josh Saez hit a three to put us up by one.”
Lakeview inbounded the ball to Nate Shurlow.
“They set a nice backscreen on him and were expecting that,” McGuire said. “Josh Saez picked him up. He had such a head of steam and Josh was kind of at a standstill. He went by Josh and the baseline help guy got over and came up from underneath the basket but Shurlow made a nice play on his part and it was unfortunate for us.”
Dean Eichenberg led Reed City with 26 points.
“Dean’s been playing well, Kyle’s (Wright) been coming on and we have Chad,” Maguire said. “I like what we’re doing offensively, but defensively, we have to tighten things up.”
The final conference record was 11-7 in the Central State Activities Association.
Clare comes into Wednesday’s game at 12-9. McGuire indicated the two teams will be evenly matched and both have a good chance to get to the finals.
“Big Rapids is 19-1 and it’s at their place so obviously they’re the favorite,” McGuire said.
REED CITY 65, FREMONT 58
Reed City’s boys basketball team played with plenty of heart and energy in spurts, but the Coyotes ran into a three-headed monster against Fremont in a 65-58 nonconference loss on Tuesday.
Fremont’s trio of guards Mike Siegel and Dylan Krim and big man Blake Siersma were able to break down the Coyotes’ defensive pressure, combining for 60 of the Packers’ 65 points to improve to 12-7.
After falling behind by double digits early, Reed City showed plenty of heart and hustle in climbing back to with one at the half, but the Packers’ ability to handle pressure and get to the basket off dribble penetration was enough to earn a victory.
Reed City coach Dean McGuire was particularly impressed with Siegel and Krim, who broke down the defense while finishing at the basket throughout.
“Those were two of the better guards we’ve seen all year,” he said. “The both can shoot it and get to the basket. They were tough to guard.”
After Krim hit a triple to close out the first quarter at 21-10, Reed City began to claw its way back into the game behind good shooting from the Perimeter. Chad Samuels hit a jumper, a pair of triples and then scored of a Coyotes steal to cut the Packers’ lead to 32-20 with a minute left in the half.
Dean Eichenberg hit his second triple of the quarter to give Reed City a 33-32 lead before Siegel ended the half with a bucket to give his team a one-point lead.
McGuire said his team did a better job of getting out and running in the second quarter, outscoring the Packers 23-13 in the frame.
“I think we were getting a little robotic on offense, which made us a little slow,” he said. “We’re at our best when we get up and down the floor. To their credit, they’re just as athletic, if not more, than we are. So give them credit, they’re a good team.”
Fremont coach Pete Zerfas credited his guards for handling Reed City’s full court pressure throughout the course of the game.
“We hit a couple of threes early, but we also got some rebounds,” he said. “I think what helped us early was that we were able to break their traps and double teams. Our off guard that wasn’t covered flashed to the ball and we were able to attack out of that.”
Fremont’s trio, Zerfas said, has made a big difference in helping the team win eight out of its last 10 games.
“Mike Siegel had a great game handling the pressure and getting to the basket,” he said. “So did Dylan Crim. Blake Siersma, our big man, has been injured the last four weeks — he’s starting to play really well. We’re starting to develop.”
Both teams struggled offensively in the third quarter, with the exception of Siegel, who led the Packers with 25 points to go with 11 rebounds. Krim added 18 points, while Siersma had 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Reed City got great efforts from Samuels, who led the Coyotes with 16 points, while Kyle Wright scored 11 points to go with seven rebounds. Eichenberg added 11 points, hitting three triples in the loss.
“Kyle Wright’s energy the last two weeks has been outstanding,” Mcguire said. “Chad, in my opinion, has been hurt all year, he’s been sick ... he’s a different player now that he’s healthy. He played his heart out (Tuesday), I’m proud of that boy.”
Reed City made a run in the fourth quarter to get within 53-50 with about four minutes to go, thanks to a pair of buckets by Samuels, but the Packers were able to knock down their free throws down the stretch to secure the win.