Reed City holds back Clare for nonconference victory

REED CITY — It was a nonleague boys basketball game on Thursday but emotions ran high at times before Reed City prevailed over Clare 64-58.

In a game that featured three technical fouls whistled against each team, Andre Jones and Schuyler Smith led Reed City (9-7) with 14 points apiece while Mykel Dillard added 12 points.

Clare (5-9) led 33-30 after a physical first half which featured three technical fouls against Reed City and one on Clare.

Travis Vida hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter to lift Clare to an 18-12 lead. Logan Straub hit a 3-pointer to keep Reed City within reach. Mykel Dillard hit a 3-pointer to cut Clare’s lead to 21-20 at 4:50 of the second.

Two technical fouls were whistled on the Coyotes midway in the second and Camden Dice hit four free throws for a 33-21 lead. Collin Hatfield netted two technical free throws and a 3-pointer for the Coyotes who went on a 9-0 run going into halftime.

“We just haven’t been starting well lately,” Reed City coach Dean McGuire said. “Give Clare some credit. They knocked down a bunch of 3s. When you shoot at the clip they shot them, I don’t know what their percentage was in the first quarter shooting 3s. They may have missed one.”

The Pioneers opened a 37-30 lead early in the third. Collin Bevens’ 3-pointer gave Clare a 40-32 advantage. Leland Yonkin’s 3-pointer tied the game 40-40 at 2:30 and Jones followed with a 3-pointer for a 45-40 Reed City lead at 2:01. The Coyotes were up 45-42 after the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, both teams struggled defensively. Two consecutive technicals were called on Clare and Jones hit four straight free throws for a 51-44 Coyote lead with 2:32 to play. He hit two more at 2:05 for a 53-44 edge. Dillard added two free throws for a 55-46 advantage. Gabe Denton hit two free throws with 50 seconds to play to cut the Clare lead to 57-52.

“Mykel and Andre were huge,” McGuire said of the clutch Reed City free-throw shooting. “They’re our seniors and that’s what you hope they bring. They both did a nice job. They stepped up and made some big free throws for us.”

Jones’ two free throws made it 59-52 with 41.4 seconds to play. The Pioneers were whistled for a charge moments later and the Coyotes ran out the clock. Smith had a slam dunk after passing off the inbounds pass and taking a long pass down court with 16 seconds to go for a 63-54 lead.

“I think we just wore on them,” McGuire said.

Both teams are in the Class B district at Big Rapids next month.

“We’re doing a lot better now,” Coyote senior guard Matt Mund said. “We’re getting our stuff together.”

The Coyotes were coming off a 39-38 nonleague loss to Lakeview on Feb. 9. Reed City was at Grant in Central State Activities Association Gold Division action on Tuesday.

“That will be a really tough game for us,” McGuire said.

Friday night, Reed City plays at Big Rapids.