Reed City tops Pine River 62-40 in season opener
REED CITY — Not much had gone right for Reed City’s girls basketball team in their last three meetings with Pine River. During Tuesday’s opener against the Bucks, however, the Coyotes could do no wrong in a 62-40 season-opening victory. Reed City jumped out to a 37-18 halftime advantage, thanks to good ball distribution from point guard Emma Lockhart and efficient shooting from Kalee Hensel. Lockhart handled Pine River’s defensive pressure well, scoring 10 points while dishing out seven assists, while Hensel scored a game-high 25 points to end a three-game losing streak to the Bucks. Reed City coach Brian Koopman credited his team’s play on both ends of the floor in helping the Coyotes start the season 1-0. “We made sure we had a hand in the face of the shooter,” he said. “Last year they beat us by penetrating on the drive and kicking it out, but we did a good job of knowing where their shooters were.” Koopman had high praise for Lockhart and Hensel, who set the tone early with mistake-free basketball. “(Lockhart) has been with me for four years,” he said. “She has great court awareness and sees the entire court really well. When they started to double team Emma, Kalee stepped up and made some big shots for us.” Reed City started the game on a 7-0 run after a steal and bucket by Natalie Westhoff. Lockhart ended the quarter with a steal and bucket to give the Coyotes a 13-6 lead after the first. Hensel caught fire in the second quarter, hitting a pair of triples to make it 22-7. Lockhart later found Karah Hensel on the break to make it 28-14. Lockhart closed out the quarter with an impressive steal and jumper from the corner at the buzzer to put Reed City up 37-18. Hensel scored underneath on a feed from Lockhart, who delivered a pinpoint pass for the basket. Hensel credited the senior point guard for her vision throughout Tuesday’s win. “Emma is so good at finding the open player because she sees the court so well,” she said. “We executed really well and found the open shooter all night.” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said his team was careless with the basketball in the opener, giving credit to the Reed City defense for getting into passing lanes. The Coyotes also limited Jamie Justin to 11 points, scoring just two baskets on the evening, while most of her points came after the game was out of reach. “We were sloppy with the ball and I thought they out-hustled us,” he said. “We got some good shots off, but they really took Jamie (Justin) out of the offense.” Reed City’s 1-2-2 zone continued to force turnovers on the defensive end in the second half, limiting the Bucks to just five third quarter points. Hensel nailed a triple that put Reed City up comfortably at 46-23. Lockhart gave high praise to her teammates for stepping up and making shots when she found them for open looks. “Our team did a good job of getting open when I penetrated to the middle of the lane,” she said. “We’ve got five girls returning, but we had a lot of new girls that were facing their first test. I thought they did really well.” Jacolyn Mullins chipped in eight points for Reed City in the win, while Karah Hensel added seven points. Pine River got 10 points from Devyn Powell. Reed City is in action again on Friday when the Coyotes host Cadillac. Pine River will take on Morley Stanwood on Thursday in a road contest. REED CITY 62, PINE RIVER 40 RC 13 24 13 12 — 62 PR 6 12 5 17 — 40 Reed City (1-0) Emma Lockhart 4 2-2 10, Jacolyn Mullins 4 0-2 8, Natalie Westhoff 2 1-6 5, Makenzie Switzer 1 2-4 4, Alaina Woodard 1 0-0 2, Alex Donley 0 1-2 1, Kalee Hensel 5(4) 3-5 25, Karah Hensel 2 3-4 7. Totals 19(4) 12-25 62. Pine River (0-1) Paige Esiline 1 0-0 2, Kassy Nelson 1 2-4 4, Jamie Justin 1(1) 6-6 11, Caymann Gatt 1(1) 2-4 7, Devyn Powell 3(1) 1-3 10, Haley Raymond 3 0-0 6. Totals 10(3) 11-17 40. Rebounds: Reed City: (Kalee Hensel 8). Pine River (Raymond 7). Assists: Reed City (Lockhart 7). Pine River (Gatt 2).