Reed City girls too much for Hesperia
REED CITY — Reed City’s effective full-court press blew the score wide open Monday night.
The Coyotes outscored Hesperia 21-8 in the second quarter en route to a 73-29 Central State Activities Association victory in girls basketball action.
Natalie Westoff led Reed City with 17 points while Karah Hensel added 13, Makenzie Switzer put in 12 and Lauren Voelker added 11.
Hesperia stayed tight with the Coyotes during the early going while the play was sloppy at times. Westhoff had two baskets to key Reed City to a 13-4 lead.
Hesperia, led by Mariah Stitt with six points in the second quarter stayed close until the Coyotes started getting steals off their full-court press. Makenzie Switzer hit a triple for a 24-10 lead with 2:45 left in the half. It was 32-12 at halftime.
The press “opened it up and got things going,” said Reed City coach Brian Koopman. “We started making some easy shots which helped too. That has hurt us too all year long. We’ll put up 50 to 60 shots. When we shoot 20 percent... and they’re not bad shots. That’s been our nemesis all year long.”
Switzer put in a 3-pointer to open the second half for a 35-12 Coyote advantage. Switzer then later followed with one basket off a steal, in between two Hensel buckets off steals from Hesperia’s inbounds passes. That gave the Coyotes a commanding 41-14 lead with 6:13 left in the third quarter. Kayla Davis’ turnaround with 2:01 to play made it 49-18.
“Our press open things up,” said Westhoff. “We played as a team. Our helpside defense was a key factor. We were knocking down shots.”
It was 51-21 going into the final quarter. Hensel’s triple with 5:07 to play made it 59-25.
“We prepared for (the press) yesterday but we can’t simulate their game pressure a lot,” said Hesperia coach Tom Welsh. “They did a great job of keeping that up.”
Voelker had seven rebounds for the Coyotes and Hensel had 10 steals. Reed City, 4-5 overall and 4-3 in the league, plays Thursday at Central Montcalm.
Stitt led Hesperia, 1-6 overall and 1-5 in the league, with 13 points.