Reed City nets fourth win against Manistee

MANISTEE — Reed City ended Manistee’s 2015 football season, with a 50-27 win in the first round of the Division 5 playoffs.

If that seems like a long time ago, it did not for the two schools’ basketball teams, who played another football game, this time on the hardwood, with a similar result, a 68-42 win by the Coyotes on Friday night.

“Reed City is a physical team,” Manistee head coach Tina Miller said. “Every time we get inside we were getting banged and pushed, and that’s to their credit. That’s a game that we should excel in, we’re just as physical as they are.”

Alejandro Olvera led all scorers with 15 points for the Chippewas (1-6), who went toe-to-toe almost literally with Reed City, using a very physical full-court press to stay in the tight game through most of the first half.

Reed City head coach Dean McGuire said his backcourt tandem of Andre Jones and Matt Mund saw his team through the Chippewa pressure.

“We have two guards who have been playing for a long time,” McGuire said. “It took a little longer than I would have liked to figure it out, but we’re getting there.”

Jones had a team-high 14 points for Reed City (4-2), who led 12-11 after the first quarter. Manistee hung around until late in the second, when the Coyotes started to assert themselves from beyond the arc.

After a traditional 3-point play by Olvera brought the Chippewas to within a single point, 22-21 with 4:35 left in the first half, a long bomb by Collin Hatfield 19 seconds later began a run that finally gave the Coyotes a bit of breathing room.

Olvera hit two free throws to close the gap to a manageable 36-28 with 25 seconds left in the first half, but Jones answered with a three just before the break to get the halftime lead to double digits.

Ten different players scored for the Coyotes in the game, and six of them had at least one 3-pointer. Three of those long bombs, one each from Jones, Mund and Trent Sturgell, fueled a 17-2 Reed City run that began the second half and put the Chippewas away for good.

“It was a momentum shifter for us,” Miller said. “We went from being in the game to 15 or more points down, and it’s hard to come back from that.

“We have no quick answer. It’s going to take us a while, it’s going to be layup after layup after layup, we’re not going to be hitting a bunch of threes to match up with them.”

Play got fairly chippy down the stretch, as the two team’s football instincts took over, but things never got completely out of hand.

“I know they have some football players over there and all but one of my guys are football players, so both teams had some strong kids out there battling,” McGuire said. “It was good, hard, honest competition.”

Reed City is home Friday night against arch-rival Big Rapids.