Coyote girls end season with loss to Clare in districts

CLARE — Three teams in the Central State Activities Association (CSAA) came into last Wednesday’s Class B girls basketball district semifinals, but only one was left standing once the dust had settled.

Reed City (10-10, 10-7 CSAA) fell 57-37 to the host Clare Pioneers (19-1) in the first semifinal matchup of the day while Big Rapids (8-13, 7-11 CSAA) stunned Chippewa Hills (16-4, 15-3 CSAA) in the other semifinal contest.

The Coyotes and Pioneers opened up Wednesday’s action with a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.

The Pioneers opened the game with a 15-6 run, but Reed City’s Makenzie Switzer nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to 15-9 midway through the first quarter and after a Clare field goal on the next possession, Switzer came right back down the court with a basket of her own to put the score at 17-11 in favor of Clare before the two sides each scored six points apiece to close out the quarter at 23-17 in favor of the Pioneers. Switzer had 10 of the Coyotes’ 17 points in the opening quarter.

The second quarter wasn’t as kind to the Coyotes, though, as they only hit one shot in the quarter, a trey from Switzer, and Clare scored 11 points in the quarter to head into the half with a 34-20 lead.

With the Pioneers leading 39-23 halfway through the third, Reed City’s Lauren Voelker scored the Coyotes’ next five points to pull them within 13 before the Coyotes ended the third trailing 43-31.

That was as close as the Coyotes would get, however, as the Pioneers outscored them 14-6 in the final frame to eliminate Reed City from the postseason with a 57-37 victory.

“I thought we had a good gameplan and the one thing we’ve struggled with this year is making shots at times and we struggled with that (last Wednesday),”Reed City coach Brian Koopman said. “I thought our gameplan was good and the kids played hard and I thought we had some nice shots, but they just didn’t fall.

“I’d like to commend my seniors,” he added. “They worked hard all season and they’re great young ladies and they represented Reed City well.”

Switzer led the Coyotes with 16 points while Karah Hensel had nine points and seven rebounds, Voelker recorded eight points, Jacolyn Mullins pulled down four rebounds and Alaina Woodard had three steals.

Lindsay Winter had 26 points for Clare.