Third time no charm

Reed City boys team edged by Big Rapids in district finals

REED CITY — The boys basketball season ended way too soon as far as the Reed City Coyotes were concerned.

The Coyotes were bidding for their third win over Big Rapids this season and for a district title, but fell to the Cardinals 59-57.

In what would be his final game as a Coyote, Jared Holmquist came up big with 26 points including 17 in the first half. He also had 15 rebounds. Chad Samuels netted 17 points and Ryan Willis added eight points and eight rebounds.

Quinn Tyson sparked Big Rapids with 27 points.

“It was tough to handle,” said Reed City senior Trevor Mund. “It’s hard enough losing your last game of your high school career, but losing to Big Rapids...they played very good.”

Reed City’s season ends at 18-5.

“We were very fortunate. Anytime you win 18 games in a season, things are going your way,” said Reed City coach Jesse Kailing. “The reason the kids play the minutes they do is they prove it over the course of the season. We won 18 games with the kids we had. We won the conference championship.”

Reed City had beaten Big Rapids twice during the regular season and wound up sharing the title with the Cardinals. But Kailing said he doesn’t apply too much stock in the “it’s hard to beat a team three times in one season” theory.

“What it comes down to is they played better than we did,” Kailing said. “Big Rapids came out early and got us on our heels. They kind of punched us in the mouth a little bit. We made it close at halftime.

“But in the third quarter, we started taking the lead and control of the game. We got into foul trouble and had to sub. That took Jared out of the middle. When that happens, it allowed Big Rapids to get back into the game. We did exactly what we wanted to except for Quinn Tyson. You don’t expect a sophomore to come out and score 27. He had an outstanding game. He’s going to be a great player in this area. He had a great game.”

On Wednesday, the Coyotes, the host team, held back Grant 59-55 in a district semifinal game It marked the second straight victory during the week for Reed City over a Lakes 8 Conference school. The previous Monday, the Coyotes had gotten past Newaygo.

Holmquist put together 23 points and 21 rebounds while Samuels added 16 points and Jake Vincent contributed eight points.

“Did we play our best in the (Big Rapids game)? No we didn’t,” Kailing said. “But life goes on. No one will feel sorry for us. We have to regroup … if you’re a senior, to the next step in your life and if you’re an underclassman, learn from it and move on.”

The Coyotes graduate Saez, Mund, Glen Ryder and Holmquist.

“We lose some seniors but there are some good kids coming back, not just great basketball players, but some good kids,” Kailing said.

“We had some memorable moments,” Mund said. “It was a blast.”