REED CITY —  Juniors like T.J. Patterson have been playing a key role for the Reed City boys basketball team this season.

It’s his first varsity basketball season. He did play with his teammates during summer basketball.

“It’s a lot different than to JV,” Patterson said. “It’s faster and more physical.”

Patterson said his main role is rebounding.

“It’s been a little bit challenging,” he said. “I think I’m doing pretty well.”

He’s coming off a strong season with the championship Reed City football team and hasn’t been afraid to get physical on the basketball court. He’s feeling comfortable on the varsity level and had a busy holiday break working with his teammates, with the zone offense being a major emphasis.

The Coyotes entered this week at 4-0 and have a lot of games coming up. That includes a home game this Friday with Central Montcalm.

“We’re confident if we play like we did against Cadillac,” Patterson said, referring to a one-point victory to open the season against a Class B state semifinalist from last winter. “We have to have good defense and get as many rebounds as we can.”

The Coyotes have been using a lot of players and Patterson said he’s readly to go every time he gets the call.

He’s looking to improve on his shooting, especially putbacks where he’ll be getting most of his scoring production.