REED CITY — Reed City entered January looking for that first win in boys basketball action, but players like Phillip Jones, a sophomore, continue to see progress as the season unfolds.

Jones, whose brother Andre Jones graduated from last season’s team, is among the sophomores moved up to the varsity lineup. He had 16 points in a recent 69-53 loss to Grant in Central State Activities Association Gold Division play. 

He was on the JV level last season but has made the transition to varsity as a sophomore just as he did in football.

“It was a whole different atmosphere, stepping up from JVs to varsity,” he said. “The tempo is a lot faster. You have to be smarter with your decisions. It’s really crazy. We’re adjusting. We’re still transitioning. We’re a young team. We have more sophomores and only two seniors. We’re still trying to find our role and play as well as we’re capable of.”

Jones plays point guard.

“I’m more of a defensive player,” he said. “I try to get a stop and turnover for my team and put the ball in our hands. I’m doing pretty good. I started the first three games. When the coaches needed a stop, I’m there.”

It’s still a matter, Jones acknowledged, for the players to know each other more.

“We’re still building around each other,” he said. “Basketball is a close sport and you have to be focused to perform well. I feel that we’re still improving on that.”

The Coyotes also had some workouts during holiday break.

“We know we have a lot of work to do,” Jones said. “We’re definitely getting to know each other and we’re definitely clicking well.”

 Reed City, 0-5, plays home on  Wednesday against Big Rapids in CSAA action.