Reed City breaks away in impressive win
REED CITY — Morley Stanwood coach Bob Raven called Wednesday’s 80-47 loss to Reed City the “classic snowball effect,” in that everything that could have gone wrong for the Mohawks did. The Coyotes, on the other hand, couldn’t have looked much better, dictating an uptempo pace that resulted in a number of transition buckets in an impressive Central State Activities Association win. Reed City shot the ball well in its half court offense, ran the floor for easy baskets and created turnovers in what coach Brian Koopman described as his team’s “most complete game” of the season. “(Wednesday) I thought it was all working for us,” Koopman said. “I thought our defense was working and we did a great job in transition. We did an excellent job of boxing out to get that going. I thought our half court man-to-man was really good, though, and that’s kind of been our staple all year.” The Coyotes got standout performances from senior guard Emma Lockhart, who got the offense going in transition with 22 points, five rebounds and nine assists, while junior forward Karah Hensel had an efficient night offensively with 21 points, benefiting from a number of outlet passes from Lockhart. Lockhart said it’s always a point of emphasis to get the ball out in transition to get easy baskets. “We’ve always tried to push the ball to get easy points,” she said. “In other games we’ve tried to do it, but it gets closed down because the defense gets back. We were able to do it (Wednesday) and score easily.” Reed City took a 23-9 lead after the first quarter, starting with a pair of buckets by Hensel. Lockhart later added a triple, followed by a pair of lay-ups in transition by Makenzie Switzer to make it 20-5. Jessica Brown provided a spark off the bench for Morley Stanwood with five straight points to cut into the lead, but Lockhart found Tia Lintemuth underneath for a 3-point play to close out the quarter. Raven said a big part of his team’s demise on Wednesday was allowing the Coyotes to have their way on the fast break. “They got a lot of easy baskets off of us,” he said. “We just did a poor job with our transition defense. Give Reed City credit, they run the floor well and they’ve got some senior guards that can dictate tempo. They smelled blood in the water and they took it at us.” Mallory Raven hit a pair of buckets to cut into Reed City’s lead at 29-15 to start the second quarter. Lindsey Veersma later hit a jumper to keep it close at 33-18, but Lintemuth was able to find Natalie Westhoff on a cut to the basket to make it 37-21 with a minute left in the half. The Coyotes came out firing in the second half, outscoring the Mohawks 25-12 in the third quarter behind some stellar shooting from Lockart, who hit three triples in the quarter. Lockhart also found Hensel for a pair of fast break buckets to increase the lead to 46-27. Lockhart then buried a few shots from behind the arc to make it 62-32 to close out the quarter. Hensel said Lockhart did a good job of getting the fast break going in the second half. “It helps a lot with her being up on varsity for four years,” she said of Lockhart’s court sense. “With her playing with my sister and Tia (Lintemuth) and just knowing where she’s going to be helps us all.” Koopman said Hensel’s scoring performance was the result of her improvement on the offensive end. “Karah is a player that’s been coming on for us all year,” he said. “She struggled a bit at the beginning, but now she’s starting to get her legs under her and get in a little better shape. She runs the floor — both of our bigs do, with her and Tia Lintemuth — and she had a nice game. We need to get more production out of them when teams are trying to shut down Kalee (Hensel) and Emma (Lockhart).” Reed City also got nine points from Westhoff, while Kalee Hensel, Switzer and Alaina Woodard each had six points. Morley Stanwood was led by Brett Chesebro with 10 points while Jessica Brown added nine. Reed City is in action on Friday when the Coyotes host Lakeview, while Morley Stanwood hosts White Cloud.