GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Reed City beats Manistee, Central Montcalm

REED CITY

Last week was a good one for Reed City’s girls basketball team.

On Thursday at home, Reed City defeated Manistee 64-43. The Reed City defense prevailed with 17 steals while the offense was credited with 15 assists. The Coyotes enjoyed a 22-point second quarter for a 42-14 halftime lead.

“We created a lot of easy passes off our defense,” said Reed City coach Brian Koopman. “I’ll be honest with you, our last few games, we’ve emphasized with being more physical on defense and picking up the pressure on them and trying to get more offense that way.

“To be honest with you, the kids have really bought into it. They like it. It gets our legs going and our bodies moving. I think we do a really good job. We’re not the quickest team. We do a good job of anticipating. That’s created some easy baskets for us.”

The Coyotes snuck past Central Montcalm on the road 41-40 to improve to 3-5 overall on Jan. 10. It was one of the better starts to the season the Coyotes have had with a 23-8 lead early in the game.

The more aggressive offensive and defense has helped his team get off to a quicker start, Koopman noted. “We were letting the other teams dictate what happened,” he said.

Reed City was hampered with 6-of-24 free-throw shooting and also played without Jordyn Mason. Emma Lockhart had 14 points, five steals and three assists, followed by Kalee Hensel with nine points and seven rebounds.

“The kids are starting to get into better shape and understanding how we want things,” Koopman said. “That’s always important too. We reincorporated some new kids this year. To get them all on the same page has been kind of a challenge this year. Allyson Stieg is playing well for us. Kasey Miller is coming in and doing a solid job. Karah Hensel and Tia Lintemuth are doing a good job for us on inside in the post running the floor well and handling the ball.”

PINE RIVER

LEROY — It was no contest with Pine River defeating host Mesick 71-16 in non-league girls basketball action on Monday to improve its record to 7-3 overall.

The Bucks were up 15-6 after the first quarter, 34-9 at halftime and 53-14 after the third quarter. The Bucks had an 18-2 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes.

Everybody in the lineup scored for the Bucks. Jamie Justin scored 17 points, followed by Kassy Nelson with 13 and Haley Raymond with eight. Nelson had five rebounds, followed by Valerie Holmes and Raymond with four apiece. Nelson also had five assists. Chelsea Nelson had five steals. The Bucks had 31 steals and 24 assists as a team.

Pine River plays Thursday at Evart.

“We’ve played pretty good the last two games,” said Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert. “We started to pick up on defense which led to more offense. We’ve been rebounding well. I’ve been happy with all aspects of our game.”

The Bucks defeated Lake City 52-14 on Jan. 10 in a home game. The Bucks fired out to a 19-0 lead and had a 34-3 advantage at halftime. Raymond scored 14 points and brought down eight rebounds for the Bucks. Jamie Justin had 12 points followed by Michelle Kelsey with 10 points. Kassy Nelson added eight points. Devyn Powell had five steals.

EVART

The Wildcats had one game last week against Marion on Jan. 10 and won 30-17. The Thursday game with McBain was postponed.

“Defensively, we played well the whole game,” said Evart coach Larry Brown. “Offensively, we had a hard time making shots. They jumped out to a 10-4 lead. After that, they missed shots and our defense held them to one basket in each of the last three quarters. The defense was solid. We had a hard time making baskets but the kids fought through it.”

Kortney Dennis had 16 points for the Wildcats.

On Thursday, Evart is home against Pine River. “We’ll have to take care of the basketball, have fewer turnovers and play physical defense against them,” Brown said. “We’ll have to bring our A game for sure.”