Reed City seniors anxious to go after basketball titles

REED CITY — It’s no longer serve, pass, set and hit. For Reed City seniors like Karah Hensel and Natalie Westhoff, it’s dribble, pass, shoot and rebound.

They’re among the Coyote athletes who ended their volleyball seasons earlier this month and are now in their second week of basketball practices.

It’s Hensel’s third varsity season.

Last season compared to her sophomore year, “I felt I was a lot better,” Hensel said. “As a sophomore, I was tentative. My junior year, I had more experience and understood how much faster the game was.”

Hensel and the Coyotes came up strong toward the end of the season before failing to get that elusive district title, something she hopes to help the Coyotes gain this season along with a strong run at the Central State Activities Association title.

The Coyotes hope to take advantage of their speed this season and have the depth necessary to succeed against anyone on the schedule. Feeling confident against the competition and not giving up regardless of the situation will be critical against tough teams, Hensel noted.

It’s Westhoff’s second varsity season.

I thought last year went great,” she said. “We would have liked to have beaten Big Rapids in our district. With Kaley Hensel hurt (for some games), that hurt us.”

Westhoff said summer basketball helped her make a smooth transition to varsity play. She did “a ton” of basketball during this past offseason.

“We went to four or five different camps this year,” he said. “We were in the gym almost every day during the summer.”

She’s been focusing on her dribbling and offense, plus getting her shot down and preparing herself for some point guard duties. She’ll usually be at

forward.

“Rebounding and defense are my strengths,” she said, adding that she’s working on “my offense and getting my shots down.”

The transition from volleyball to basketball last week was challenging, Westhoff acknowledged, because of the need for getting in shape with more running involved in hoops.

The Coyotes open their season at Pine River Dec. 3

“I think we’ll be pretty strong this year,” Westhoff said. “We’re definitely out to get a conference title. A lot of us have been playing together since fourth grade. So we’ve got good chemistry.”