Reed City girls open basketball season with unique challenges

Coyotes will be without injured senior forward-center for undisclosed time

Reed City girls basketball coach Tim Beilfuss talks to his team after a recent Coyote practice.

Reed City girls basketball coach Tim Beilfuss talks to his team after a recent Coyote practice.

John Raffel

REED CITY – The girls season tips Tuesday at home against Benzie Central with coach Tim Beilfuss looking to take on various challenges.

“Last season was a season where we took positive steps forward as a program,” Beiulfuss said. “We improved our win totals from one win the year before to nine last season. We finished the season 9-11, losing to eventual Division 2 state runner-up Ludington in district play.

“We were able to accomplish numerous team goals along the way. We had a nice run at the end of the season, winning five straight conference games, including a road win at Big Rapids. This helped us in
finishing in fourth place overall in the CSAA Gold division.”

The Coyotes last year graduated four seniors Racquel Dubreil, Key Jewett, Paige Lofquist and Rylie Shafer.

“These players helped in many different facets of the game,” Beilfuss said. “Each of them individually helped create success for our team last season. Paige and Racquel provided large minutes that will need to be filled. Key and Rylie helped provide depth in our backcourt rotation.”

Key players include senior forward-center Christina Malackanich.

“Christina is a 2-time 1st Team All Conference player,” Beilfuss said. “Her post play and interior defense was a large reason for our success last season. Christina led us in points and rebounds per game last season. She will be leaned on more as a vocal leader this season. She is currently out
as she had surgery this fall. Her status for the season is undetermined currently.”

Kyleigh Weck is a junior forward-center whose “height and length will continue to help her in being one of the area’s better rebounders,” Beilfuss said.  She has taken the necessary steps forward in becoming a better athlete by devoting more time to the weight room over the last year.

“We really want her to take that next step and use her height to her advantage. She can be very disruptive defensively and we expect that. We will rely on her post play in Christina’s absence.”

Molly Bowman is a key junior guard.

“She’s a long guard that really began to find her role on the team late last season,”  Beilfuss said. “Over the summer, she started becoming more assertive on the offensive end in terms of scoring. Molly will be relied upon to help lead our young group of guards this season. Molly is a very smart player, who we want to take the next steps in becoming a vocal leader for our team.”

Beilfuss has high hopes for his team.

“We are really stressing to be better today than what were yesterday,” he said. “We will be very young this season. We must go out and compete every night. Our schedule does not have any easy nights for us. We have out-of-conference games with Evart, McBain, and Ludington, all teams
that won their conference last season and/or will compete for conference titles this season.”