Reed City girls fall to Manistee

By Jared Buchholz Pioneer News Network

MANISTEE — A mid-break clash between the Reed City and Manistee girls basketball teams had a clear-cut favorite and an underdog, and both teams played their roles as the Chippewas stayed undefeated on the season with a 57-11 win over the visiting Coyotes on Monday night.

Chippewas head coach Todd Erickson wasn’t ready to allow his team to take the Brian Koopman coached Coyotes lightly.

“Brian always has his kids ready to play. The team might not have the wins and losses he wants, but they will play hard for him, they always do,” Erickson said. “He is a well-respected guy, and I respect him.”

His team listened and started the game on a 8-2 run that grew to 39-4 by the halftime buzzer behind unselfish offensive basketball and some very stingy defense.

Three Chippewas scored in double-digits, led by Jessica Gustad’s 16 points, to which she added seven rebounds, a block and a steal. Annie Fuller and Audrey Tomaszewski scored 11 apiece.

While the Chippewas (6-0) are trending toward a second consecutive undefeated regular-season, the young Coyotes squad (0-6) entered the season with no returning starters.

“We are a really young team. We have nobody coming back starting from last year,” said Reed City coach Brian Koopman. “We had seven or eight seniors on the team last year so it is totally a rebuilding (process) this year.”

The out-matched Coyotes mustered four points in the first half, on a post-up try by Alyssa Olds and a lay-up by Emily Libey, while the Chippewas ran the advantage to 22-4 by the first buzzer.

The Coyotes failed to score in the second quarter.

The frustrating thing is, yes we knew Manistee is a good team coming in obviously, but we just didn’t look to be a threat with the ball. We didn’t look to score. We didn’t look to attack. We looked confused, like we were still on Christmas break yet,” Koopman said.

Reed City plays at Fremont next Tuesday.

“At moments I saw that we would get back and play some good defense and get a steal or something,” Koopman said. “Then there were also some moments where we looked lost. But we are young and they are trying.

“Hopefully we can walk away and get something out of this. ... It is a learning experience.”

Scoring for the Coyotes included Brenna Westhoff, four, and Megan Donley, three.