Coyotes get sweet redemption

REED CITY — Reed City was looking for revenge in Friday’s Central State Activities Association rematch with Chippewa Hills.

They got it.

Jared Holmquist scored 17 points to lead the Coyotes to a 52-45 boys basketball victory Friday night.

With Big Rapids likely having first place in the CSAA locked up, these two teams are battling for second. Reed City is 11-6 overall and 10-3 in the league. The Warriors are 12-5 and 11-3.

“We had a battle at their place and it was nice to get a little bit of revenge,” said Reed City coach Jesse Kailing. “We lost on a half-court shot at their place (by Damon Shaw) so it was nice to get them in regulation here. I think our kids have improved. I’m sure we outrebounded them (29-24).”

“I thought we played pretty good and it was one of our better games,” said RC senior Josh Justin. “We kept pressure on them on defense.”

The game was played in the middle school gym because of leaking problems with the high school gymnasium roof.

“You can’t give up (23) two-point field goals and win a game,” said Warrior coach Jim Lake.

In the fourth quarter, Josh Justin scored at 6:30 for a 36-32 RC lead. But Damon Shaw countered with a 3-pointer a minute later. Matt VanCuren’s triple gave Chip Hills a 41-40 lead with 3:10 to play. Trent Sims scored moments later for a 42-41 Coyote lead. Holmquist added three points for a 45-41 advantage with 2:05 to play and Josh Justin’s layup at 1:47 made it 47-41. The Warriors couldn’t score at the other end and were forced to foul.

Saez had a free throw for a 48-41 RC lead.

“I told the guys in the lockerroom that 10 games ago I don’t know if we win that game because we weren’t executing like we did down the stretch here,” Kailing said. “We didn’t turn the ball over. We made them foul us. We made them defend us instead of turning the ball over. Tonight, we made them beat us and we wound up hanging on.”

Shaw was 12 of 15 from the charity stripe and led the Warriors with 23 points. No one else scored more than six for the visitors.

Evan Stieg scored six points in the first quarter to ignite the Coyotes to a 12-8 lead.

Dillon Lodholtz hit a pair of baskets for the Coyotes who led 18-12 midway in the second quarter. Reed City went cold for the rest of the quarter and the Warriors took advantage.

Nine unanswered points gave the Warriors a 21-18 halftime advantage.

Holmquist and Justin both had two baskets to pace the Coyotes to a 29-26 lead late in the third quarter. Reed City was up 32-28 going into the fourth.

“Their two top players, I feel, are VanCuren and Shaw,” Kailing said. “I think at key times during the game, we took them out of what they wanted to do. VanCuren killed us the first time we played them. We did a much better job against him this time.”

“We’ve improved a lot,” Justin said. “We kept the lead most of the game. We shut down the people we needed to shut down.”

Reed City is at Lakeview on Friday.