REED CITY — Big Rapids boys basketball didn’t have to look any further than No. 24 for its 62-48 rivalry win over Reed City on Friday.

“We played probably as well as we have all year long,” Big Rapids coach Kent Ingles said. “Our bench gave some good contributions and (Demetri) Martin had his usual game. He’s hard to guard and he has played more under control than he had earlier in the year.”

The Big Rapids sophomore led the Cardinals with a 23-point effort, fueling the team past archrival Reed City. Big Rapids advances to 12-5.

“Obviously not our best (performance),” Reed City coach Dean McGuire said. “We didn’t contain (Martin). He got to the basket at will, and we will have to do a better job against him if we see them in the district.”

Martin’s scoring in the first half gave the Cardinals a significant advantage over the Coyotes as he scored 15 points in the first two quarters. Big Rapids led 33-20 at halftime.

“Give Big Rapids credit because they played very well and Martin played a heck of a game,” McGuire said. “I got a feeling that we aren’t going to be the only team to have a hard time guarding him.”

The Coyotes continued to struggle matching the Cardinals’ scoring output in the second half. Reed City fell behind 50-24 at the end of the third quarter.

A late fourth quarter push led by junior guard Andre Jones fell flat as the Coyotes’ 19-point fourth quarter wasn’t enough to lift Reed City to a win. The Coyotes drop to 8-8 and 5-5 in the Central State Activities Association Gold Division.

Senior forward Chris Barton scored a team-high 11 points and Jones scored eight points.

“They out-hustled us, and that’s very disappointing,” McGuire said. “I thought, coming in, we had been playing some pretty good basketball. But we just didn’t attack their zone very well.”

Reed City is at Chippewa Hills on Friday night.

Reed City 61, Grant 48

The Coyotes’ boys basketball team used a big second half to overcome the Granton Tigers Tuesday, Feb. 17.

Grant held a tight 23-22 lead at halftime, but Reed City leaned on the shooting of Jones and senior forward Chris Barton in the second half to earn the win. The Coyotes move to 8-7.

“They are a tough team to beat,” McGuire said. “I’m proud of our guys, they played hard from the tip.”

Grant held the lead for the duration of the first quarter, sitting ahead of the Coyotes 11-8 after Tiger junior guard Roberto Echavarria Jr. sank a fade-away jumper to end the first.

Reed City junior guard Matt Mund helped keep the Coyotes within striking distance in the second quarter. Mund scored five consecutive points, including a 3-pointer to bring the game to 16-14 with 5:37 left in the quarter.

“We got down early, but they didn’t quit,” McGuire said. “They kept fighting and clawing. The game of basketball is sometimes just a matter of making some shots”

Mykel Dillard sparked the Coyotes early on in the third quarter after draining a contested 3-pointer. Reed City led 36-31 at the end of the third.

Dillard finished the game with nine points.

Reed City sealed the win in the fourth riding the scoring of Jones, who found success at the charity stripe as Grant fouled late in a comeback attempt.

“They are the top in the conference, so this win feels great,” Dillard said. “I think our defense was pretty good as we were attacking them. It felt nice to shut them down.”

Barton led the Coyotes with 16 points as Jones turned in a 15-point effort.

The Tigers were led by junior Chad McCracken’s 14 points as they fall to 13-3.

“Good things happen when you work hard,” McGuire said. “I told the team early on that I wouldn’t want to scout us, I think that it’s tough to prepare for us now.”