Quick starts boost Reed City girls to wins

REED CITY — Quick starts are what Reed City’s girls’ basketball team likes to see: in the Coyotes’ favor, that is.

Reed City fired out to an early 15-1 lead over Holton and coasted to a 59-28 Central State Activities Association (CSAA) victory on Friday.

“When we get our press going, we can get off to a fast start against anybody,” Reed City coach Brian Koopman said. “What disappointed me was that in the second quarter, we didn’t work the ball well enough and we were shooting 20-foot shots when we know we can work for better shots and they got points off the transition.”

Kalee Hensel scored 16 points for the Coyotes and had seven rebounds and five steals, followed by Emma Lockhart with 14 points and Jordyn Mason with 12 points.

“We played really good tonight,” said Hensel. “We’re getting better than we were at the beginning of the season in passing the ball.”

Leading 32-14 at halftime, the Coyotes were up 36-20 at 4:20 when Lockhart netted her team’s first field goals of the half. Kalee Hensel scored to make it 40-22 with two minutes to play. Kasey Miller scored off her own steal with 50 seconds to play in the third for a 43-22 advantage.

“In the second half, we came out and got a good flow going again,” Koopman said. “We played some good basketball. Tonight,we experimented with some things to see if they worked. That’s why you saw some things a little inconsistent out there.”

Hensel opened the fourth quarter with two free throws to give the Coyotes a 45-22 lead. Allyson Stieg netted a 3-pointer with 5:07 to play and Lockhart added two free throws moments later for a 50-26 lead.

Mason swished in three field goals and seven total points in the first quarter while Hensel and Lockhart added four points apiece en route to a 15-1 lead that ended 15-4 after the first quarter.

Holton’s Rachel Yount scored six points in the second quarter to keep the Red Devils within range. But Hensel netted a pair of threes to give Reed City a 26-4 lead midway in the second.

Reed City, 8-3 in the league and 9-6 overall, was home Tuesday night in CSAA action against undefeated Morley Stanwood.

“Every game, we’re getting to know each other better and better on the court,” Hensel said. “It’s really important to get off to a good start. We’re working on our press at the beginning. It gives us easy baskets and steals off the bat.”

Hensel has been adding to her point totals with impressive scoring performances.

“I think I’m playing pretty good,” she said. “But it helps when Emma is doing a good job out there getting the ball to everybody.”

On Jan. 31 at Hesperia, Reed City crushed the host school 68-12. Kalee Hensel netted 21 points. Emma Lockhart, Jordyn Mason and Allyson Stieg netted 12 points and Amanda Steig had nine points.

Reed City is home against Central Montcalm on Friday.