Reed City girls edged out by Big Rapids

Reed City's Paige Lofquist (left) goes after the ball against Big Rapids on Friday in CSAA action.

Reed City's Paige Lofquist (left) goes after the ball against Big Rapids on Friday in CSAA action.

Herald Review photo/John Raffel

BIG RAPIDS -- Big Rapids opened Friday's Central State Activities Association Gold Division girls basketball battle against Reed City with a huge early lead but had to fight off the Coyotes for all of the second half before securing the 45-38 win.

Reed City (2-3 2-6) came into the game with a two-game winning streak.

"We got the W, that's the good news," Big Rapids coachJessica Haist said. "It's closer than I'd like. It seemed like every time we got some momentum we took some steps backwards. That's expected in this game. Anything can happen."

The Cardinals (4-1 9-1) fired out to a huge lead before the Coyotes finally ignited and got back in the game. Holly McKenna had a putback for Big Rapids and it was 13-0 late in the first.

Paige Lofquist's 3-pointer late in the first for Reed City made it 13-3 going into the second.

Alison Duddles had a 3-point play for Reed City early in the second to make it 17-6.

The Coyotes kept battling, and cut the gap to 19-14. Hanna Smith had a 3-pointer for Big Rapids to make it 23-14. Taylor Harrison hit a triple at the buzzer and it was 23-17 at halftime.

Reed City cut it to 23-21 early in the third.

Megan Mackall hit two baskets all for the Cards and Rylie Haist's 3-point play made it 32-23 at the three-minute mark of the third. It was 34-27 going into the fourth.

Lofquist's three cut Reed City's deficit to 36-32 at 6:05. Mackenzie Vandawater followed with a triple for the Coyotes.

McKenna scored for a 38-35 Cardinal lead. Kelsie Gorczewicz's two foul shots made it 40-35 at 2:45. Vandawater's triple cut it to 40-38. But she fouled out seconds later. Gorczewicz hit two more foul shots and it was 42-38 at 1:30. Haist hit a free throw for a 3-point lead. The Cardinals were able to run out the clock

Gorczewicz, who was 7-of-9 in free throws, led Big Rapids with 12 points while Haist and Mckenna had 11 points apiece and Mackall had six.

Gorczewicz "was really good on defense," Haist said. "That's something we know we can depend on from her."

McKenna had 10 rebounds and four blocks. Haist had 12 rebounds and three blocks.

"Some calls didn't go our way and then we get into a shell and play nervous and not like we have a 13-point lead," Haist said.

Lofquist had 10 points while Duddles and Vandawater had nine apiece for Reed City. Harrison had five.

"We got back to making our shots," Reed City coach Tim Beilfuss said. "We haven't beaten Big Rapids in a few years. If we can keep it tight like girls are disappointed. They don't want the moral wins. My girls want to start winning games."

On Tuesday, Big Rapids is at Chippewa Hills and Reed City is at Central Montcalm.