Reed City girls ready for CSAA season

Kamryn Myers heads to the basket against Pine River.
Kamryn Myers heads to the basket against Pine River.

LEROY — Reed City’s girls basketball team opens its Central State Activities Association Gold Division season at home on Friday against Newaygo.

Meanwhile, the third quarter was the key for the Coyotes in a non-league 37-35 victory over Pine River in the girls basketball opener for both teams on Nov. 28.

Reed City trailed 22-16 at halftime, but stepped up its full-court defensive pressure and outscored the Bucks 16-2 in the third quarter to take control of the game.

“It was the first game, you know how that is,” Reed City coach Brian Koopman smiled. “It was ugly, but it was a win.

It was 32-24, Reed City, going into the fourth. Anselma Barnett opened the quarter with three points for the Bucks. Logan Powell added two free throws for the Bucks moments later. She hit two free throws at the three-minute mark, but the Coyotes were up 35-31. Pine River standout KayLee Goodman fouled out with 1:12 to play. Powell scored with 55 seconds to play to cut the Reed City lead to 36-33.

Both teams couldn’t take advantage of key opportunities down the stretch. Powell had two free throws with 16 seconds to play to cut it to 36-35. Emily Libey was fouled with 14 seconds to play and hit one free throw. Powell tried a long shot that was partially deflected with three seconds to play and time ran out on the Bucks.

Libey and Alanna Nelson both sank 3-pointers for Reed City in the first quarter, but the Bucks led 12-11. Powell had eight points in the second quarter to ignite the Bucks to their six-point halftime lead. Nelson had a 3-pointer to open the third quarter and the Coyotes gained control of the game.

“That (third quarter) turned it around,” Koopman said. “Our defense was good there and we got a little run. Our fourth quarter, we were a little tired and didn’t make some smart mental decisions. We had the lead and got complacent on defense. We missed so many easy baskets.”

Brandon Bowman was making his Pine River coaching debut, replacing long-time coach Shawn Ruppert, who resigned after taking over the athletic director duties.

“Overall, I thought my team played hard,” Bowman said. “You can tell we had some rust for our first game. Offensively, we moved the ball well at times. But in the second half, we really struggled.”

Powell had 18 points for Pine River while Libey had 11 and Nelson 10 for Reed City.

“Right now, we’re still working on our chemistry,” Bowman said. “I noticed when the girls started getting down, our defense started slowing down. Once we started being aggressive again, we got back into it.”

Injuries have challenged the Coyotes in the early season and returning starter Alyssa Olds will be sitting out a few games, still recovering from an ACL injury from last year, Koopman said. Senior Jordyn Storch and sophomore Taylor Harrison also weren’t able to play on Tuesday. Koopman hopes to get Olds back by Christmas break and the other two next week.