Reed City boys set to put 3-0 record on line next week

REED CITY — The Reed City Coyotes have their run-and-gun style to thank for an untarnished 3-0 record heading into the holiday break after picking up some early big wins this season.

Reed City coach Dean McGuire said he’s liked some of the wins more than others.

“It was really helpful to play Cadillac in our first game,” McGuire said. “Our kids fought hard and played well against (Cadillac), who looks really good and will be really solid by the end of the year. Against Morley Stanwood we played solid basketball, but definitely not our best and I don’t think they played their best either. Holton was tough to tell since they only had seven kids; we just kind of wore them down. We definitely haven’t peaked yet, but I don’t think any coach wants to peak after three games.”

The Coyotes pair an active full-court pressure defense with an offense that thrives on drives and threes. The Coyotes have scored over 70 points in two of their three games, thanks in part to the 22 3-pointers they’ve knocked down through three contests. One of the scariest things about this Coyote squad is that they don’t have just one great player.

“Every day in practice we do something with our kids split into two teams,” McGuire said. “We rarely put Kyle (Wright) and Chad (Samuels) on the same team. They are both fierce competitors and everyone else around them increases their effort. They’ve been great leaders.”

Wright and Samuels haven’t done it by themselves. Dean Eichenberg has knocked down eight 3-pointers on the season, with double-digit points in two games so far. Josh Saez and Eric Grannis have also added some offense for the Coyotes as PJ Jones, Chris Barton and others are on the list of players that McGuire has been impressed by.

“The list is too long,” McGuire said. “Dean (Eichenberg) has been very solid for us. He does things in practice that you wouldn’t believe, once he hit 10 3-pointers in a row. Saez at point is so quick and makes great decisions in the paint. He’s an unselfish, pass-first point guard who gets the team involved.”

McGuire knows that even though his team has been playing well, they still have things to work on.

“Turnovers have been an issue that we work on daily in practice,” McGuire said. “We want to keep playing at a faster pace, which allows for more turnovers, but it still bugs me. If we can get opportunities to shoot the ball on every possession I think we’ll be all right, if we turn it over 14 or 15 times we might be in trouble. We definitely need to get better.”

The Coyotes have had an eventful season so far, starting out with their first win over Cadillac in nine seasons and then jumping out to a 3-0 start heading into the holiday break. However, things won’t be easy for Reed City during the holiday break and after the new year.

The Coyotes will start things off on Jan. 7 at home against a talented Lakeview team and will hit a stretch with four scheduled games from Jan. 10 to Jan. 17  against Chippewa Hills, Hesperia, Newaygo and Central Montcalm, with three of those games on the road, but McGuire is focusing mostly on Lakeview for now.

“Lakeview beat us in triple overtime last year, which was one of the most amazing games I’ve ever been a part of,” McGuire said. “We’ll have our hands full. It’ll be a good test to see where we are.”