REED CITY — It was a battle to the very end.

Trailing Morley Stanwood 50-47 with less than five seconds remaining in the game, Reed City picked off by a Morley Stanwood pass and got the ball into the hands of sharp-shooting guard Zac Saez.

Saez fired off a good-looking 3-point shot that was just off the mark as time expired. The Mohawks prevailed by three.

Morley Stanwood took a 27-19 lead into halftime behind 18 first-half points from Aiden McLaughlin. The Mohawks led by as many as 14 points early in the third quarter before Reed City rallied. A Cody Kailing basket trimmed Reed City’s deficit to 48-46 with roughly a minute to go in the game.

“We knew we had our hands full,” Reed City coach JJ Eads said. “They know how to stretch you out and they shoot the ball real well. We knew Elenbaas could shoot the ball and tonight was his night. McLaughlin had a great first half. That’s what makes them dangerous, you can’t just key in on one guy.

“We were in a funk and challenged each other at halftime. We came out and played hard and fought right until the end. We just need to be more consistent on both sides of the ball.”

“We knew that we have to defend multiple people,” Raven said. “They’re not a one-man team. That makes it tough. They hurt us with some fast-break points.”

Axel Woolworth knocked down two free throws with roughly 10 seconds remaining to give Morley Stanwood its final points of the contest. Jackson Price made one of two free throws in the closing seconds to round out Reed City’s scoring.

Morley Stanwood made it a point going into Monday’s game to slow down Reed City’s up-tempo offense. The Coyotes had a difficult time against the Mohawks both inside and outside.

“We didn’t want to let them get in their running game,” Raven said. “We didn’t want to let their press bother us, which we did a pretty good job of. We didn’t shoot the ball very well tonight, especially in the first half. I told the kids that we’re going to have to win some games with our defense. We finally did in the fourth quarter.”

“It was a tough matchup for us on the perimeter,” Eads said. “I was hoping to get the ball inside a little better tonight. Things didn’t go our way inside like I thought it would but we battled.”

McLaughlin led the Mohawks with 20 points — 18 of which came in the first half. He also added four rebounds. Landon Elenbaas carried the load in the second half, scoring 15 of his 17 points in the second half via five 3-pointers.

“I’ve been shooting decent throughout the year,” Elenbaas said. “I’ve been waiting for a game like this to hit quite a few. Tonight was the night and I felt pretty good.”

“Aiden carried us offensively in the first half,” Morley Stanwood coach Bob Raven said. “I knew they would try to key on him in the second. Landon stepped up and hit some big shots.”

Saez and Kailing scored 11 points apiece for the Coyotes and Josh Mund added eight points while Anthony Pelton added six.

“Zac and Cody battled all night,” Eads said. “I thought Mund gave us a nice spark off the bench for us.”

Morley Stanwood is 15-1 overall. Reed City (10-6, 7-3) is at Big Rapids on Friday.