Coyotes live another day

CLARE — The Reed City boys basketball team gets to compete for a district championship after a 65-52 victory over division foe Chippewa Hills on Wednesday at Clare High School.

The Coyotes used an early first quarter spurt to gain an edge over the Warriors and never relinquished the lead.

“When it comes to Chip Hills, we are so familiar with each other,” Reed City coach Dean McGuire said. “They knew what we were going to bring at them, and we knew what they were going to bring at us.”

Reed City jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening minutes of the first quarter after junior guard Matt Mund sank a 3-pointer with 5:34 left in the quarter. The Coyotes made back-to-back 3-pointers after junior guard Andre Jones scored on a 30-footer to give Reed City a 10-4 lead.

The Coyotes led 18-10 at the end of the first.

Chippewa Hills made a strong run in the second, scoring seven straight points, capped by a corner 3-pointer from senior Michael Todd. The streak was broken after Reed City junior Taylor Pelton scored on a layup to put the game at 22-17 midway through the second quarter.

Chippewa Hills ended the half with a 3-pointer from senior Hunter Conley. Conley had a team-high seven points at the half as the Warriors scored four 3-pointers in the first two quarters.

“Defensively, I thought we were good, but not great,” McGuire said. “Offensively is where I thought we got it done.”

Reed City led 27-20 at halftime.

Chippewa Hills opened the second half with consecutive 3-pointers from senior Grant Brinker and Conley, respectively, to bring the game to 27-26.

Reed City quickly scrubbed the Warriors effort, scoring on consecutive 3-pointers of their own from junior guard Mykel Dillard and Mund, respectively.

The Coyotes led 50-36 after three quarters.

“The game of basketball is funny because you always look good when the ball is going through the basket,” McGuire said. “Fortunately, sometimes that’s the way basketball works sometimes.”

Dillard made a three-point play midway through the fourth after scoring while being fouled by a Warrior defender. The ensuing free throw gave the Coyotes a 56-43 lead.

Jones finished out the game with three-consecutive points off of free throws from a Chippewa Hills technical foul.

Jones and senior Nolan Patterson led the Coyotes as they both had 16-point showings. Mund and senior Chris Barton also contributed 10 points apiece.

Conley led the Warriors with 13 points, nine of which came from 3-point range. Brinker scored 10 points.

“The question I had (for the team) was ‘do you guys want it to be over tonight?’” McGuire said. “And they said ‘no, we want to practice tomorrow,’ so we went out there and got it done.”

Reed City next plays archrival Big Rapids at 7 p.m. on Friday for a district championship. The game is hosted by Clare High School.