Reed City girls too much for Holton

REED CITY — Friday’s 69-43 win over Holton allowed Brian Koopman to check a few things off his to-do list.

The Reed City girls basketball coach said he was happy to get the win over the Red Devils, while getting some of his bench players extensive minutes in helping the Coyotes improve to 3-2 overall and 3-1 in Central State Activities Association play.

Friday’s game also allowed Koopman to assess how his team executed out of a number of sets and scenarios, giving him a sense of comfort as the season progresses.

“I’m trying to get a routine down as far as what we do after a made shot or a dead ball,” he said. “I thought we did a better job of knowing where we’re going. We also got some kids good minutes, which I think will give them some confidence.”

While execution off those set plays was a positive on Friday, Reed City opened the game doing what it does best: Creating turnovers off its half-court press, which led to easy baskets in transition.

Karah Hensel found Kalee Hensel for a lay-up off a Holton turnover to give Reed City an early 10-4 lead. Natalie Westhoff later found Tia Lintemuth underneath for a basket and foul to make it 15-6 with 3:13 left in the first quarter.

Lintemuth, who scored 13 points, and fellow post player Karah Hensel, who netted 10, were able to establish position down low against a smaller Holton team, resulting in a number of baskets.

“We just had everyone looking for the open person,” Lintemuth said. “They were probably trying to get up on Kalee (Hensel) and Emma (Lockhart) because they’re usually our leading scorers. We got some open looks down low.”

While Holton keyed on the duo of Lockhart and Hensel, the seniors were still able to have success offensively. Lockhart finished with a team-high 17 points to go with five assists, while Hensel chipped in 13 points to go with eight assists.

Lockhart helped Reed City open up a substantial lead in the second quarter behind some hot shooting. The senior hit a 15-foot jumper, followed by a 3-pointer to give the Coyotes a 31-13 lead. The scoring barrage allowed Reed City to take a 40-18 lead into halftime after out-scoring the Red Devils 20-8 in the second.

Lockhart said it felt good to get back on track offensively after struggling with her shooting touch in the last couple of conference games.

“We played really good defense and shared the ball on offense,” she said.

“We were trying to find the open people. I think our press led to some steals, which got us some easy baskets.”

In the second half, the Coyotes were able to get a number of reserves significant minutes. That will be critical later on in the season, Koopman noted.

“As the year goes, you never know if somebody’s going to get hurt or be sick,” he said.

“They’re going to be ready to come in. (Makenzie) Switzer played the point, which she normally doesn’t play and I thought she did great.”

Lintemuth hit a jumper from the elbow to make it 46-26, while Lockhart nailed a triple to get the Coyotes offense humming to start the third quarter.

Kalee Hensel later found Switzer on a fast break to make it 59-29 to close out the quarter.

Switzer led Reed City’s reserves with six points, three rebounds and two assists.

Holton was led by Katie Wildfong, Rachel Younts and Jacki Stone, who each scored 10 points in the loss.