Coyotes rout Cards

BIG RAPIDS — Reed City couldn’t miss and Big Rapids couldn’t make.

And so it seemed Friday night. And so it was.

Sophomore Chad Samuels scored 23 points while senior Jared Holmquist netted 21 to lead a solid-shooting Reed City team 62-39 over a Cardinal squad that wasn’t quite able to find the range from anywhere on the court.

Samuels, with four field goals and a triple in the first quarter, led a Coyote offense that was also 15-of-19 from the free-throw line in Friday’s Central State Activities Association opener for both teams. Overall, Reed City is 1-1 and Big Rapids 0-2.

The Cardinals meanwhile, were 16-of-36 from the charity stripe and an even colder 2-of-20 from 3-point land.

“We got off to that quick start, which was nice,” said Reed City coach Jesse Kailing. “We had some balance in our first game (Tuesday against Cadillac). Jared and Chad picked up some big numbers tonight.”

Holmquist didn’t score until a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Reed City a 16-7 lead after the first quarter. Jake Daugherty had five points in the second and Dario Williams added a triple but shooting woes continued to mount for Big Rapids. When Holmquist drove for a bucket with 3:05 left in the half, it was 30-10. The Coyotes were up 32-16 at halftime and continued to play strong defense.

Holmquist scored a triple and four free throws in the third quarter for a 9-7 Reed City advantage. He hit two straight early in the fourth for a 45-23 Coyote lead.

“Ryan Willis did a nice job chipping in with some baskets,” said Kailing of one of his players who contributed key points from off the bench.

“To beat Big Rapids, it really feels good,” Samuels said.

“I never expected the game to be like it went,” Kailing said. “The thing I was most proud of was our kids played hard after coming off a tough loss Tuesday night. We looked like a different team. We played with a purpose and we played like we knew what were doing. We weren’t second-guessing ourselves and the kids were making good decisions.

“When we attack the basket and run our offense with Jared through the middle, we’re going to be tough to beat.”

Meanwhile, the Coyotes, who were home against Hesperia on Tuesday, also have a CSAA game at Holton on Friday.

“Neither one has been strong in our conference the last few years,” Kailing said. “I’m expecting to play against a lot of zone. Both don’t have a lot of players coming back from last year’s team. It’s a matter of our kids going out, executing and playing hard.”

As the Coyotes get ready for the holiday break, Kailing acknowledged it was critical for the team to be as intense as it was against Big Rapids for future opponents.

“We played Cadillac and Big Rapids and now turn around to play Hesperia and Holton, Kailing said. “The one thing you can do is as a player is make sure you show up every game and whether it will be a big game or a game you think is winnable, if you don’t bring the same effort you ‘re going to wind up getting (stopped) in one of those games because you’re not going 100 percent.”