Reed City boys lose district opener

Zac Saez (right) plays defense against Kalkaska.
Zac Saez (right) plays defense against Kalkaska.

REED CITY — Two teams with winning records were looking to keep their seasons going when Reed City hosted Kalkaska on Monday in a first-round Class B district game.

Reed City (12-9) ended its season while Kalkaska (15-6) advances to Wednesdays semifinal round with a 60-53 boys basketball victory.

An 11-0 run for the Blazers to open the fourth quarter was the game’s key moment

“It was fun,” Kalkaska coach Cory Heier said. “We were down by 10 a few different times in the second half and able to come back and win. We won 15 games. That was pretty exciting.”

Jason Disbrow hit a 3-pointer to close the first quarter with a 16-15 Kalkaska lead. Karsten Koopman and Cody Kailing scored baskets to ignite a late second quarter run and a 32-26 halftime Reed City lead.

Reed City entered the fourth with a 48-41 lead.

“It was looking all right,” Reed City coach JJ Eads said. “Not to make excuses but our point guard Zac (Saez) was playing on one foot with an ankle and knee injury. That hurt us. Their pressure finally got to us. A couple of bunnies didn’t fall for us.”

Seth Riddle had a putback to help the Blazers cut the deficit to 48-45 early in the fourth, Chase Fitch scored off his own steal and hit the free throw to tie the game 48-48 with 5:44 to play. Riddle followed with two free throws for a 50-48 lead at 5:20. He followed with a layup moments later as the Coyote offense continued to sputter.

“I wish I could tell you what happened,” Eads said of the stretch. “They were able to get to the line in the fourth quarter and they don’t miss free throws. It was physical inside.”

Koopman’s free throw with 4:30 to play were Reed City’s first points of the quarter. Disbrow added two free throws for a 54-49 lead at 2:15. Fitch scored at the two-minute mark for a 56-49 lead. Kailing scored off the glass for Reed City and Jackson Price scored off a steal with 1:05 to play to make it 56-53. Fitch was fouled with 36.8 seconds to go and hit both free throws for a 58-53 lead. Reed City missed a shot at the other end, Brock Reimer hit two free throws for a seven-point lead and Kalkaska was able to run out the clock.

“We had a couple of turnovers that we caused right at the end of the third quarter and into the beginning of the fourth,” Heier said. “It gave us some momentum coming down the stretch. It was our 15th win. That’s exciting.”

Koopman and Kailing had 19 apiece for Reed City.

Fitch had 15 for Kalkaska while Riddle added 14.