Coyote hoops coach talks rivalry with Big Rapids

Reed City senior Canyon Reed (far right) goes up for a shot during Friday night's game against Tri County.

Reed City senior Canyon Reed (far right) goes up for a shot during Friday night's game against Tri County.

Pioneer photo/Joe Judd

REED CITY — The Reed City boys basketball team played in its first home game in 55 days Friday night and grabbed a key conference 70-53 win over Tri County.

It was the Coyotes’ fifth victory in their last seven contests, which brings their record to 9-3 (6-1) and puts them in third place behind Big Rapids in the Gold Conference Central State Activities Association.

Despite the positive result, Reed City coach Steve Ernst and his squad haven’t had any time to celebrate, because they have been preparing to host, none other than: the Cardinals of Big Rapids

Speak of the devil.

Ernst said he knows the importance of the upcoming battle on the court in regards to the conference title race, and recognized its significance in the greater contest of the rivalry.

“It’s just one of the fun rivalries in high school sports,” Ernst said. “Big Rapids and Reed City are so close in so many ways — it just allows for some great excitement and energy.”

Ernst said he and his players are glad to be back in familiar territory on their home court to embrace the advantage they’ve built for themselves this season.

“It’s one of the classic home courts in Michigan high school basketball,” Ernst said. 

Big Rapids enters the match at 9-2 (7-1) overall, having defeated Newaygo 51-44 on Friday.

The Coyote coach complimented the offensive shooting power possessed by the Cardinals.

“They shoot the ball so well, and coach (Kent) Ingles is such a good coach,” Ernst said. “We’ll have to take care of the perimeter shooting. We just need to take care of the basketball.”

Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m.