Reed City girls fall to Newaygo

REED CITY — Reed City’s girls basketball team has had a strong first six games in many respects, but sustained a 39-35 loss to Newaygo on Friday.

Emily Libey had six points in the first half and helped the Coyotes gain an early 9-4 lead. But Reed City’s offense went cold and Newaygo (1-2, 2-3) took advantage, trailing 9-8 after the first quarter and leading 14-9 before the Coyotes would score on a Hanna Price free throw.

The Coyotes (0-2, 2-4) used full-court pressure in the first half, but pulled back in the second half. Kylee Chesley, who scored eight first half points, helped Newaygo retain its lead.

Libey scored four straight points to cut the Lions advantage to 26-24 late in the third quarter. Riley Knight had a 3-point play and Newaygo had a 29-24 lead going into the fourth quarter. Knight hit a 3-pointer and five points to open the fourth.

Lauren Voelker’s two free throws cut the Newaygo lead to 37-32 at 3:15. Libey’s putback made it 37-35 at 1:25. Molly Frisbie hit two free throws for a 39-35 Newaygo lead at the one-minute mark.

Reed City was unable to hit some key shots down the stretch.

“I thought we had the intensity coming out,” Reed City coach Brian Koopman said. “We got out to a 7-2 lead. But we slowly didn’t have any energy or intensity. Then we started missing a few shots, then started hanging our heads and get down. We never got over the  hump.”

Libey scored 20 points for Reed City while Voelker and Price netted six apiece.

“It seemed like every time we’d make a run, we’d get a foul or they’d get a loose ball or tip or something that we didn’t get and they would score,” Koopman said. “We had opportunities at the end of making a shot, layup or free throw. We have to get over this phobia of playing at home. We don’t like playing at home for some reason.”

Reed City pressed full court the first half, but later took it off.

“We got into some foul trouble,” koopman said. “We tried to go with some half-court man and still got into foul trouble.”

The Coyotes resume action at home Jan. 5 with Fremont. It’s a nonleague game although Fremont will be a Central State Activities Association Gold Division member starting in 2016-17.

“We know we can play at a certain level,” Koopman said. “We just have to keep playing and get better.”