Reed City girls comeback bid falls shy against Tri County

REED CITY — Tri County (1-0, 1-3) held back a strong Reed City second half (0-1, 2-2)  for a 46-39 victory in Friday’s Central State Activities Association Gold Division girls basketball opener for both teams.

“It was a tale of two different halves,” Reed City coach Brian Koopman said. “The first half, we came out and weren’t ready for that full-court 1-2-2 pressure. We just threw the ball around and panicked. We didn’t play good defense, we didn’t box out, we didn’t do anything the first half.”

The Vikings were up 21-6 after the first quarter and 35-13 at halftime. But Reed City came back with a 26-11 advantage in the second half before falling short.

“The key factor for us was starting fast,” Tri County coach Chris Overbeek said. “We talked about the importance of starting fast. Our first three games, we’ve struggled off the get-go. We hit some shots early and the girls started smiling, playing hard and having fun. We rebounded really well the first half. we had a 22-8 advantage on the boards in the first half. We played really hard the first half.”

Reed City put the pressure on defensively throughout the fourth period and had a chance to cut into the Viking lead deeper, but could not take further advantage of various opportunities.

“Half of their points (in the second half) were on free throws,” Koopman said. “We didn’t come ready to play that first half. We weren’t ready for the press and that hurt us.”

Emily Libey scored 13 points while Hanna Price added nine, Lauren Voelker scored eight and Megan Donley put in six.

“We started pressing in the second half,” Koopman said. “That was a difference in that part of it. They turned the ball over. We’re young. We’re still trying to figure things out. There’s a lot of good things. One of the things we talked about is pressing full court, full game. We have to get our legs underneath us and get in better shape so we can do that.”

As a team, Reed City had 28 rebounds and 17 steals.

“We had it down to eight at one time, went to the line three times and made one free throw,” Koopman said. “We could have cut away at it. I’ll give my kids credit. They didn’t come out and quit.”

Jenna DeGeer and Ashley Bowen had 14 points apiece for Tri County.

“Ashley and Jenna had 14 each at half, and we got a lot of contributions from other kids in the second half,” Overbeek said. “Our rotation changed significantly with foul trouble. It really turned out some kids made key rebounds and key plays. The second half got ugly. That’s a credit to Reed City for not quitting and playing as hard as they did.”

Reed City was at Manistee on Tuesday in nonleague action and is home against Newaygo Friday in CSAA action.