REED CITY — Both teams were tied with 4-1 records in the Central State Activities Association Gold Division and it was more than a Big Rapids-Reed City rivalry at stake.

But Big Rapids (6-1, 5-1) dominated early and hung on for a 49-40 win in Tuesday’s (Jan. 13) boys basketball clash with Reed City (5-3, 4-2).

Jackson Lund’s 3-pointer sparked Big Rapids to an early 12-1 lead. But Karsten Koopman hit inside for Reed City to cut it to 16-8 after the first quarter.

Koopman had a 3-point play to open the second. Braeden Childress had the hot hand in the second quarter with nine points including a 3-point shot for a 21-11 lead early in the period. He drove for two and Jackob Martinson followed with a basket for a 29-13 lead late in the quarter. It was 31-18 at halftime.

The Coyotes responded with a strong defensive third quarter and cut it to 36-32 at 0:40 on a Brandon Wirth basket. Childress had a free throw and scored off his own steal late in the quarter to make it 39-32 going into the fourth.

Martinson put Big Rapids up by nine with a basket to open the fourth quarter. Jackson Lund scored for a 43-32 lead before Zac Saez hit a 3-pointer for the Coyotes. Childress scored at 3:40 for a 47-35 lead.

Koopman countered with a 3-point play. Dorian Martin’s basket at 1:58 made it 49-38.

“If you don’t shoot well, you need to play good defense,” Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles said. “Their big kid, Koopman, got into foul trouble, and he’s a good part of their offense. We had a hard time handling him when he was in. That cost them. But our power free-throw shooting cost us again. We have to finish off some things we didn’t do.”

Childress had 19 points followed by Martinson with 13 and Kalib Robinson with eight.

“We cut it to four points in the third quarter,” Reed City coach JJ Eads said. “We fell too far behind early.”

“I thought we played some pretty good defense for a change,” Ingles said. “We caught them a little by surprise.”

Koopman scored 15 and Kailing had eight for Reed City.

“We could have definitely worked harder on offense and gotten some more points,” Martinson said. “I’m really happy with how we played on defense.”