Coyotes outlast Warriors in rivalry battle; Reed City remains unbeaten
REMUS — Chippewa Hills’ and Reed City’s boys basketball teams battled Friday in another installment of the long-time rivalry with the Coyotes remaining unbeaten, 81-66.
The Warriors (1-4, 1-3 CSAA) came into the game looking outmatched against Reed City (5-0, 4-0 CSAA), but they gave the conference leaders all it could handle for three-and-a-half quarters before pulling away in the end.
“Anytime you go to an opposing team’s floor, especially Chip Hills, you know you’re in for a battle,” said Reed City coach Dean McGuire. “Chip Hills has always been tough place to come in and play. The rivalry goes way back, so anytime you can win at Chip Hills it’s all good.”
Chippewa Hills came out strong, ending the first quarter with a 19-18 lead by breaking the Coyotes full-court press. It didn’t faze Reed City’s gameplan, as it continued to bring the pressure and was able to break the Warriors in the second quarter to go into halftime up, 42-32.
“They did a great job with their gameplan tonight and broke our press early on,” McGuire said. “Late in the second quarter the pressure got to them.”
McGuire said he didn’t want to see halftime come, but it did, and Chippewa Hills coach Mark PeLong told his team that this game wasn’t over and that the first two minutes of the second half would be the most important of the game.
The Warriors responded as Michael Todd hit back-to-back three-pointers to open up the half and chipped away at the 10-point deficit.
Chippewa Hills tied the game at 47 with 3:06 to go in the third quarter, but the Coyotes answered with a quick four points only to see that lead dwindle down to 54-53 with 1:21 left in the third.
Reed City had one last run in it for the third quarter and took a six-point, 59-53 lead into the fourth quarter where it slowly distanced itself for the win.
“We’ve been preaching growing up on the court and put a gameplan together and they executed it,” PeLong said. “I was very proud with how my team responded against the pressure. We broke their press over and over again and that kept us in the game.
“They had a lot of their role players step up and that was pretty much the difference in the game,”
McGuire is used to seeing Chad Samuels or Kyle Wright lead the way, but that wasn’t the case Friday.
It was Dean Eichenberg who led the Coyotes in scoring with 17 while Samuels had 14 and Wright had 12.
“It makes it tough to guard us (by having many weapons),” McGuire said. “Chad (Samuels) and Kyle (Wright) typically lead us in scoring, but Dean Eichenberg and Josh Saez Friday. We’ve got guys that can score.”
Reed City is home Friday night against Central Montcalm.