REED CITY — It took awhile on Tuesday (Jan. 9), but Reed City’s boys basketball team eventually gained control of the game and dominated Tri County in Central State Activities Association Gold Division action.

Karsten Koopman scored 20 points while Cody Kailing had 18 and Preston Johnson added 10 in an 80-56 league victory for the Coyotes.

“We had a slow start defensively,” Reed City coach JJ Eads said. “Defensively, we were letting Tri County get in the lanes. They were hitting some open shots. I’ll give Tri County credit. They came ready to play”

Tri County was up 20-19 after the first quarter but Reed City came back for a 39-28 lead at halftime.

“We had a first-quarter lapse defensively but offensively the shots fell,” Eads said.

Kailing’s 3-point play gave Reed City a 55-41 lead with 1:40 left in the third. Bryce Hallman hit a 3-pointer and Tri County cut it to double digits. Brandon Wirth scored for Reed City to make it 57-46 going into the fourth.

Koopman took the game in his own hands with two drives to the basket for a 71-53 lead midway in the quarter. He assisted on a Kailing basket for a 74-56 lead.

“We didn’t play as well as we wanted to, but hey, we got the win,” Kailing said. “Defensively, we were letting them go in the middle on us, then we had to switch up to a zone and they couldn’t beat us in a zone.”

Hallman had 22 points for Tri County.

“They’re much improved from last year and we are too,” Eads said. “It’s two up and coming teams that are relatively young. They’re a tough matchup. We persevered and controlled the ball better, which helped.”