Experience comes through for Cards in win over Reed City
REED CITY — There is something to be said for experience. The Reed City boys basketball team began the second quarter with a 13-4 run to take its first lead of the contest at 27-25. Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles called the timeout to settle his team and hopefully the Reed City crowd that was fully into the game. Saying nothing more than getting back to what got them the lead to begin with, the Cardinals did just that. Big Rapids closed the first half on a 11-4 run to take a five-point lead into halftime. That led to a big third quarter and eventually an 80-71 victory at Reed City High School. The Cardinals are now 11-0 on the season and 10-0 in the Central State Activities Association. The Coyotes fall to 6-5 overall and 6-4 in the league. Reed City trailed for most of the first half, but a 6-0 burst capped by a bucket by Chad Samuels gave he Coyotes a 27-25 advantage — the first time they had led all game. Ingles called a timeout and the message was simple, Big Rapids’ Nick Baldwin said. “It was just to stay calm, it doesn’t matter what the score is,” Baldwin said after finishing with a game-high 30 points. “We are known for our defense and I think that is what turned it around for us.” Ingles credited Baldwin, Quinn Tyson, Dario Williams and Jake Daugherty for righting the ship. Those four players started a season ago, and coupled with Tyler Pellerito, who saw significant playing time last year, have been through the battles. “We were a bit out of sync during that stretch,” Ingles said. “But those guys have played a lot of ball and they know what they are doing.” Big Rapids would lead 36-31 at the end of the first half and then opened the game up in the third quarter. The Cardinals scored the first nine points and 15 of 19 as they took a 51-35 lead. “The third quarter sucked,” Reed City coach Dean McGuire said. “Sometimes, when you have the momentum, you don’t want to see the buzzer (for the end of the first half) to go off. It took us six minutes to get going. Those six minutes weren’t very good.” The Cardinals increased their lead to as many as 21 points, 69-48, in the fourth quarter when the Coyotes made one last run. Reed City knocked down shots, got some turnovers and trimmed the deficit to 74-69 with 1:20 remaining. But Big Rapids’ Quinn Tyson knocked down 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to pull out the win. Tyson tallied 25 points and Jake Daugherty netted 15. “When you have three guards that can handle it like they do, it makes them tough,” McGuire said of Tyson, Baldwin and Dario Williams. The victory leaves the Cardinals unbeaten in the CSAA, but to Ingles, there is still a long ways to go. “All this does is keep us on top of the league,” he said. “There is still plenty of games to go.” Reed City was led by Kyle Wright with 19 points. Derek Lodholtz finished with 15 points, while Dean Eichenberg netted eight. Big Rapids is in action Monday when it hosts Hesperia, while the Coyotes travel to Morley Stanwood.