REED CITY — The Reed City Coyotes earned a 64-45 Central State Activities Association boys basketball victory over Central Montcalm Friday night and is now tied with Big Rapids for first place.

Reed City trailed 12-11 after the first quarter but had a 21-6 advantage in the second for a 32-18 halftime lead and controlled the rest of the game.

With a 12-3 overall record and 11-2 CSAA mark, the Coyotes are now tied with Big Rapids for first place in the league.

Chad Samuels scored 25 points for the winners while Jared Holmquist added 12 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals.

“We’ve had two big games back-to-back with Big Rapids and Morley Stanwood,” said Reed City coach Jesse Kailing. “I didn’t know how the kids would respond tonight. We finally got things working our way.”

Alex Maxted netted 15 points for Central Montcalm.

Samuels netted seven points in the first quarter but balanced scoring by the Hornets kept them in the lead. Samuels, Eric Bradford and Holmquist hit 3-pointers in the big second quarter while the Coyote defense limited Central to one field goal and five free throws.

“We finally got things rolling,” Kailing said. “Overall, our intensity wasn’t the way it’s been.”

Bradford’s triple late in the second quarter gave his team a 29-17 lead. It was 32-18 at halftime.

“We had to step it up big time the second quarter,” Samuels said. “It was a tough first quarter. So we had to step it up and improve our intensity.”

Samuels and Holmquist both hit threes early in the third to give Reed City a 42-21 advantage. Glen Ryder, who had six second quarter points, scored with two minutes left in the third and Samuels followed with a bucket moments later for a 52-27 lead.

It was 52-30 after three quarters. Samuels drove for a bucket with 3:50 to play for a 56-40 Reed City lead. Saez’s triple with 2:50 to play made it 60-40.

“We can’t afford to be playing flat in our last three conference games,” Kailing said.

This Friday, Reed City is home against Chippewa Hills.

VS. MORLEY STANWOOD

On Feb. 7 at home, Reed City gained revenge for a loss earlier this season to Morley Stanwood with an 82-55 romp.

It was no contest from the start with the Coyotes leading 26-15 after the first quarter, 44-26 at halftime and 66-35 after the third quarter. Morley Stanwood had a 20-16 scoring advantage in the final quarter, but by then, the game was well out of reach. Saez had a big night for Reed City with five two-pointers, five three-pointers and four free throws for 29 points.

Jared Holmquist didn’t play the first game against Morley Stanwood because of an injury but had 11 points this time. Ryan Willis added 10 points.

Reed City had a 31-23 rebounding advantage, led by Holmquist with 11 boards. Trevor Mund had five assists.