Reed City boys fall short to Grant

REED CITY — The new year’s schedule didn’t give Reed City the result it wanted against Grant in Central State Activities Association Gold Division boys basketball action on Friday.

Grant (3-3, 2-2) made the plays in the second half en route to a 69-53 win over Reed City (0-4, 0-3).

“That was a hard-fought game,” Reed City coach JJ Eads said. “We were in it until the middle of the fourth quarter. The first quarter was a shootout. Both teams were up and down the court making shots. The second quarter, both teams went up and down, but not making shots.”

Grant was up 32-26 at halftime. A high-flying first quarter, which ended with Grant ahead 25-22, was follow by a second period in which both teams struggled offensively. The Coyotes were held to four points in the second.

Grant had four 3-pointers in the first quarter and led 13-4 during the early stages. Reed City’s’ offense started clicking with Philip Jones and Cody Kailing both hitting a pair of triples.

“We know Grant pretty much lives and dies by the 3-ball,” Eads said. “We’re trying to take them off the line early, but didn’t do a good job of that. We kept after them. We only had six to eight guys in the gym over the break and that probably affected our legs with our first game back in 21 days.

Zac Saez’s 3-point play tied the game 32-32 for Reed City early in the third quarter. Kailing tied it again later on a 3-pointer and Jones layup gave the Coyotes the lead. He hit a pair of 3-pointers moments later for a 43-39 lead. It was tied 43-43 going into the fourth.

The Coyotes opened the fourth quarter sluggishly and Grant took advantage.

Spencer Naffziger’s 3-pointer with 5:40 to go gave Grant a 50-44 lead. Moments later Tyler Naffziger’s technical free throws made it an eight-point game. Casey Geers scored at 3:30 to give his team a 59-48 lead. The Tigers were able to put the game away at the free throw line

“I’ll give our boys credit for the effort they put forth,” Eads said. “It’s coming around. We have to figure out a way to get those points late in the fourth quarter and keep the other team off the foul-line. They shot a lot more free throws than we did. We have to figure out a way to balance that out a little more.”

Jones had 16 points for Reed City, followed by Kailing with 12 and Carsten Koopman with 10. Shayne Gardner had 15 for the Tigers.

We came together as a team,” Reed City senior Brandon Evans said. “We kept up the momentum (in the first quarter), were looking for the open man and moving the ball really well.”

Reed City is at Tri County Wednesday in conference action. The game was snowed out on Tuesday.