Reed City opens conference season with win over Tri County

REED CITY — It was the second straight game the Reed City boys basketball team was playing the Vikings. This time, the Coyotes were the conquerors.

Three days after losing the season opener to the Cadillac Vikings, the Coyotes opened their home season and their Central State Activities Association (CSAA) Gold Division schedule with a 70-40 win over the Tri County Vikings Friday night.

Chris Barton and Mykel Dillard both scored 15 points and Andre Jones added 14 for Reed City.

“Cadillac defensively just locked us down,” Reed City coach Dean McGuire said. “It was a combination of Cadillac’s defense doing a fantastic job and us being a little nervous. At Cadillac, we had four or five decent shots at the basket that didn’t fall. When that happens, the basket looks smaller and smaller. We hit our first couple (Friday) and that gets the juices going for us.”

The Coyotes, 1-1 overall, started out as the hotter team, building a 21-7 lead after the first quarter, which featured a pair of 3-pointers from Matt Mund, seven points from Dillard and three field goals from Barton.

The Coyotes continued to play good defense and led 26-7 in the second on Dillard’s layup. Jones had a trey and five points from off the bench for Reed City, which led 37-18. The Vikings hit two triples to end the half and make it a 13-point game.

Andrew Snyder hit a pair of 3-pointers early in the third to make it 42-31.

“Their overall quickness hurt us,” Tri County coach Chad Gould said. “I thought we did a nice job switching to our zone.We practice our zone a lot. I thought we played well in that. When we came out in the third quarter, we did a lot of good things and hit some shots and got it down for a few minutes. The effort was there.”

Jones scored on a pass from Dillard for a 46-35 lead at 2:20. Dillard netted a three and Schuyler Smith added a triple moments later for a 54-35 lead at 1:21. Jones hit two 3-pointers in the final 24 seconds of the third for a 60-37 lead. Dillard scored at the halfway mark of the fourth and the Coyotes were in command, 67-39.

“Chad switched to a zone and did a very nice job,” McGuire said. “It caused some confusion for us and slowed us down. Once we adjusted to the zone and got the press going again...(the lead) went from nine to 27 pretty quick.”

Barton had 11 rebounds while Taylor Pelton had six. Nolan Patterson and Jobes had three assists apiece. Jones, Dillard and Pelton had three steals apiece. 

“I’m not going to say we played great defense,” McGuire said. “We have to work on our defense. (Tri County) got some open looks that didn’t fall for them this time that may fall sometime. If it does, it’s a different ball game.”

The Coyotes hit nine 3-pointers but McGuire says his team can do better in that area.

“We went in spurts where we kncoked a few down,” McGuire said. “We had some open looks against the zone.”

Reed City plays at Evart Wednesday.