Holmquist leads Reed City past Grant

Coyotes will face rival Big Rapids in district final

REED CITY — Jesse Kailing was a senior in high school in 1993 — the last time the Reed City boys basketball team won a district title.

Kailing’s Coyotes will have a chance to end that drought on Friday against Big Rapids after taking down Grant, 59-55 on Wednesday in the Class B district semifinal.

The stakes in Friday’s district final will likely be as high as ever when Reed City meets fellow CSAA co-champion Big Rapids in the final, Kailing said. Reed City and Big Rapids will play at 7 p.m. at Reed City High School.

“It would mean a lot for everyone in this basketball-rich community to win a district title,” he said. “For us to win one on our home floor would be pretty special.”

Reed City has a shot at the title after shutting down the Tiger offense from inside and out. The Coyotes held Grant to just 16 points in the first half in building a 24-16 advantage going into halftime.

Both teams started the game with cold shooting, but the Coyotes (18-4) never let Grant get comfortable on the offensive end, Kailing said.

“We played great defense in the first half,” he said. “We didn’t even allow shots to get off on a lot of their possessions. Then we started to come alive offensively in the third quarter.”

That offense would come courtesy of senior Jared Holmquist, who finished with 23 points and 21 rebounds to go with six blocked shots. Chad Samuels provided a lift in the latter stages of the game by getting to the basket and drawing contact to finish with 16 points.

Holmquist’s performance proved to be pivotal against a Grant team that made its living by driving to the basket, Kailing said.

“Jared played outstanding all around,” he said. “When we’re playing our best, we usually have more balance in the scoring, but I thought he did a nice job of producing.”

Reed City built the lead up to 30-19 following a putback by Holmquist with 6:45 to go in the third quarter. Grant then went on a 13-2 run in the next three minutes to tie the game up at 32-32 after a 3-pointer by Alex Walters. The Tigers began putting pressure on the Reed City guards, resulting in a number of turnovers.

“The turnover bug hit us in the third quarter, and a lot of those were unforced,” Kailing said.

Reed City responded, however, on a jumper by Dakota Saez to make it 34-33.

The teams traded baskets throughout the remainder of the third quarter to make it 43-39 going into the final quarter.

It was in the final quarter that Holmquist and Samuels took over.

“I thought (I) did a good job defensively in the post, along with Ryan Willis and Jake Vincent,” Holmquist said. “It gets a little more physical (in the postseason).”

Samuels finished on a strong take to the basket to make it 47-40. After a runner by Taylor Fahlen cut the Reed City lead to 49-45, Holmquist came up with a nice up-and-under move in the post to make it 53-49 with three minutes left.

Grant got within two at 57-55 with 16 seconds remaining in the game after a triple by Walters, but Holmquist and Samuels combined to knock down 3-of-4 free throws to ice the game.

The Coyotes now turn their attention toward the Cardinals, making for an exciting district final, Holmquist said.

“It’s especially big, being that it’s on our home floor and against Big Rapids,” he said. “It should be a lot of fun.”

Samuels said he, too, is looking forward to an intense final.

“The atmosphere is going to be awesome,” he said. “It’s going to be fun, being that Big Rapids is our rival.”

Grant was led by Colten Wright with 11 points and five assists.

REED CITY 59, GRANT 55

Reed City 11 13 19 16 — 59

Grant 11 5 23 16 — 55

Reed City

Dakota Saez 2 1-2 5, Trevor Mund 1 0-0 2, Chad Samuels 5 6-10 16, Ryan Willis 2 1-2 5, Jake Vincent 3 2-2 8, Jared Holmquist 9 5-7 23. Totals 22 15-23 59.

Grant

Alex Walters 1(2) 0-1 8, Alex Butler 1 1-2 3, Colten Wright 4 3-4 11, Justin Bull 3 0-0 6, Taylor Fahlen 3 3-4 9, Jake Wilde 1 5-8 7, Jake Anderson 3 3-5 9, Derek Rogers 0 2-2. Totals 16(2) 17-26 55.

Rebounds: Reed City (Holmquist 21). Grant (Anderson 9).

Assists: Reed City (Saez 3). Grant (Wright 5).