Reed City boys open districts with victory

REED CITY — Reed City will focus on a Class B district title this week but must get past Grant on Wednesday.

The Coyotes defeated Newaygo 64-48 in a first-round district tournament game at Reed City on Monday.

Reed City, 17-4, plays Grant 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in a semifinal game. The winner advances to the finals Friday night at RC against either Big Rapids or Fremont.

Grant, 15-5, split with Newaygo during the regular season. Both are members of the Lakes 8 Conference. But next season, Newaygo joins Reed City in the Central State Activities Association.

“That should be a competitive game,” Newaygo coach Terry Bourke said. “Grant is a little more physical inside than we are. I haven’t seen Reed City play against real good man-to-man. Grant plays good man-to-man defense. It should be a really good ballgame.”

“I’m sure (Grant) will do something different than from what Newaygo did tonight and maybe try to take something different away,” Reed City coach Jesse Kailing said. “We’ll have to make sure different guys step up on different nights.”

Jared Holmquist scored 18 points and brought down 14 rebounds to lead the Coyotes past Newaygo. Chad Samuels, another starter, had 11 points plus five steals and four assists.

But besides those two players, who regularly are on top of the Coyote stat sheets, Reed City also netted strong contributions from Ryan Willis with 14 points and Jake Vincent with 10.

“When you get into the tournament, what’s going to happen is teams will shut down your best players,” said Kailing. “Other guys have got to pick it up. That was the case tonight. Willis got in there and got some offensive rebounds and was the recipient of some nice passes. Vincent did the same thing. We got 24 points from them. That’s huge for us.”

The Coyotes took a 25-21 lead into halftime. Holmquist’s 3-pointer at 7:15 gave RC a 30-23 lead. Holmquist sank a pair of technical free throws at 3:33 and also scored on the extra possession for a 40-28 advantage. Heath Harrington followed with a 3-pointer to keep Newaygo in the game. Vincent’s two free throws increased Reed City’s lead to 42-31.

Vincent took a feed from Trevor Mund to score with 45 seconds left in the quarter for a 44-31 lead.

Max Harrington scored for Newaygo to open the final quarter and Alex Roberts followed with a pair of free throws. Willis countered with a pair of baskets for the Coyotes, who led 48-35 at 5:20. Samuels added two free throws moments later and Holmquist recorded a block at the other end. Willis hit a layup at 4:27 for a 52-35 lead.

Mund scored on a pass from Holmquist for a 54-38 lead with 3:18 to play. Samuels scored at 2:40 for a 56-39 edge. Willis and Vincent scored later for a 60-43 lead.

“They did a nice job early on handling our pressure,” said Newaygo coach Terry Bourke. “They did a better job than we wanted them to of getting the ball inside to Holmquist, the first half anyway.”

Newaygo fired out to an 8-4 lead before the Coyotes started connecting. Dakota Saez’s 3-pointer spurred Reed City to an 11-10 lead after the first quarter. Reed City fired out to a 9-0 run to open the second quarter, sparked on a 3-point play by Samuels.

Holmquist took charge in the lane and scored seven points and Reed City led 23-12. The Lions came back to cut the gap to 25-21 at halftime with Brad Wright netting a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“We didn’t shoot the ball very well,” Bourke said. “It’s hard to get into your press when you don’t score. We had two or three big scoring lulls.”

Conor Bradley led Newaygo with 18 points.

“I’ll take it,” Kailing said. “We came out a little rusty and maybe a little bit anxious, then we settled down, got into a groove and really played well in the second half.”

Newaygo’s season ends at 10-11.

In the assists department, Holmquist and Saez had five apiece and Samuels added four.

Reed City ended its regular season on the road Thursday with a loss to Shelby. The Tigers led 9-8 after the first quarter, 25-16 at halftime and 36-27 after the third quarter. They had a 24-6 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes.

Holmquist had 13 points and 17 rebounds for Reed City. Willis added eight points.