LAKEVIEW – The shots just wouldn’t drop at critical times for the Reed City Coyotes on Monday night and the result was an 75-72 Lakeview boys basketball win.

Joshua Saez and Ryan Willis netted 15 points apiece and Chad Samuels and Dean Eichenberg added 13 and 12 respectively for the Coyotes, who barely fell short in this Central State Activities Association battle.

It was the first game back from the holidays for the Coyotes, 2-4 overall and 2-3 in the league.

Lakeview, 4-2 overall and 3-2 in the CSAA, netted big games from Nate Shurlow with 22 points and Brad Hamlin and John Torres with 15 apiece.

“The effort was outstanding,” said Reed City coach Dean McGuire. “We have to make shots. When we’re four feet from the basket, we have to make them. I don’t know how many we missed, it was quite a few.”

It was 38-38 at halftime, but Jacob Vincent incurred his fourth foul for the Coyotes early in the third quarter. Shurlow drove for two and a 47-43 Wildcat lead.

Kyle Wright, who netted 11 points, then hit two straight for Reed City to tie the game. Dean Eichenberg scored eight points in helping the visitors tie it at 55-55. He added another basket late in the quarter for a 57-55 Reed City advantage.

Ryan Willis’ full-court drive gave his team a 61-59 lead at 5:20 of the fourth as the seesaw battle continued.

Down the stretch, both teams missed high-percentage shots inside to keep the game close.

Shawn Lindsey hit a 17-footer with a minute to play for a 69-67 lead and Lakeview got a steal at the other end.

Hamlin hit his first free throw and missed the second. Shurlow got the rebound, scored, was fouled, and hit a free throw. Samuels netted a triple with 31.8 seconds left to make it a three-point game. Shurlow’s free throw made it a 74-70 game with 20 seconds to play.

Jon Wandel’s free throws with 12 seconds to go made it 75-70 and Lakeview was able to secure the win. Wright netted a layup with a second to play as the Coyotes ran out of time.

“We’re really young so for us to step up in the last couple minutes in a game like that, there’s nothing that can beat that,” said Lakeview coach Mike Schreiber. “They were ready to do that. I was really impressed with that. We start three sophomores and two juniors.”

“To Lakeview’s credit, they took us out of what we like to do at the end,” McGuire said. “There were two teams out there and they both played hard.”

The Coyotes hit more shots from the floor, 29-23, compared to Lakeview. But the Wildcats had a 27-7 advantage in free throws made.

The action was fast-paced in the first half with the Coyotes overcoming deficits as large as nine points for a 38-38 tie. Samuels, on an inbounds pass play, with 0.7 seconds left in the half, took the ball and scored the tying basket.

Lindsey had a pair of triples and scored 10 points in the first quarter for Lakeview while Shurlow added nine points, seven on free throws. Joshua Saez scored eight points, including two triples, in the first quarter for the Coyotes, who trailed 23-18.

Lakeview opened the second quarter on a 4-0 run, but the Coyotes slowly worked their way back, getting several backcourt steals with their fullcourt pressure. Saez hit two more threes in the quarter.

“It’s a matter of how we play and we’re better in the open floor as a team,” said McGuire, referring to the Coyotes’ press. “But it just didn’t work out for us.”

“We have some weaknesses but we know what they are,” Schreiber said. “Brad Hamlin had an incredible game.”

Reed City plays at Chippewa Hills Thursday night.

LAKEVIEW 75, REED CITY 72

Reed City 18 20 19 15 – 72

Lakeview 23 15 17 20 — 75

REED CITY (2-3, 2-4)

Joshua Saez 1(4) 1-1 15, Chad Samuels 4(1) 2-3 13, Ricky Droke 1 0-0 2, Ryan Willis 7 1-3 15, Jacob Vincent 1 0-0 2, Kyle Wright 4 3-4 11, Nolan Patterson 1 0-0 2, Dean Eichenberg 3(2) 0-0 12, Eric Grannis 0 0-1 0. Totals 22 (7) 7-12 72

LAKEVIEW (3-2, 4-2)

John Torres 5 5-7 15, Shawn Lindsey 3(2) 0-0 12, Nate Shurlow 5 12-15 22, Brad Hamlin 5 5-9 15, Caleb Ruvalcaba 0 0-0 0, Jordan Stephens 0 2-6 2, Travis Spanberger 1 0-0 2, Joey Cole 1 2-2 4, Jon Wandel 1 1-2 3. Totals 21 (2) 27-41 75.