NEWAYGO — The Reed City Coyotes boys basketball lost a close CSAA Gold Division contest at Newaygo on Friday night, 71-68. 

Newaygo had a slim 16-15 lead after the first quarter, but the Lions opened things up to a 39-29 edge at halftime and a 59-50 advantage heading into the final quarter. The Coyotes made ground in the final frame, but couldn’t complete the comeback in the setback. 

“It was very disappointing,” Reed City coach Dean McGuire said. “We’re not where we want to be right now, that’s for sure. Giving up 71 points is not like us. We have to clamp down defensively.”

Andre Jones led the Coyotes with 20 points while Matt Mund chipped in 17 and Chris Barton had a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. 

“Our goal is to get better every practice,” McGuire said. “We did a lot of nice things at Newaygo. It’s not an easy place to play. They’re a very good team. We’ll concentrate on getting better defensively. We had 23 turnovers and you won’t win a lot of games doing that. We scored 68 points and turned the ball over 23 times. If we cut that in half to 12 turnovers a game and score 80 points, I like our chances if that happens.”

The Coyotes (2-2, 1-1 CSAA Gold) are off until Jan. 6 at home against Fremont. 

McGuire said his team will stay active over the break and has a scrimmage with Benzie Central.

Sportswriter Daine Pavloski contributed to this report.