Big Rapids downs rival Reed City 35-25

Big Rapids’ Holly McKenna (4) looks for an open teammate during Friday’s game. (Pioneer photo/Maxwell Harden)

REED CITY — The Big Rapids girls basketball team entered Friday’s rivalry game against Reed City hoping to snap a five-game losing streak.

The Cardinals did just that with a 35-25 win over the Coyotes Friday in CSAA action.

“The whole game was kind of slow,” Big Rapids coach Jessica Haist said. “We need to be more patient. We kept our turnovers down and got some good play out of some different kids.

“(Reed City) always plays hard. They didn’t give up. It was barn-burner for sure.”

“The kids didn’t give up,”  Reed City coach Bryan Koopman said. “We had kids playing positions they normally don’t. We made little runs to get back into it. It is what it is, we just need to work to get better.”

Points were hard to come by for both teams. The Coyotes were without starting senior guard Kamryn Myers due to an ankle injury she suffered earlier this week. Big Rapids took a 14-8 lead into halftime.

Big Rapids extended its lead when a Holly McKenna 3-pointer gave the Cardinals a 21-11 lead with three minutes left in the 3rd. A McKenna floater in the closing seconds of the third put Big Rapids up 23-15 entering the fourth.

The Coyotes continued to battle and cut the lead to five after a Taylor Harrison free throw, but couldn’t get any closer.

“My biggest message to the kids was telling them they need to play hard and we have to look to score,” Koopman said. “We can’t rely on Kam coming off a screen and scoring. There were many times where we had a wide-open people and we didn’t look to score. You’re gonna miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take. We need to start shooting with confidence.”

Jenna Kondziolka led the Cardinals with nine points and six rebounds and Ariana Costie had eight points including two 3-pointers, while Holly McKenna added seven points, 11 rebounds and five blocks.

“Jenna had a really good game,” Haist said. “She rebounded really well in the first half and that made a big difference.”

Kailing led Reed City with eight points and five rebounds and Taylor Harrison had seven points.

“Taylor played a good game for playing the majority of the game,” Koopmans said. “We need to get more kids looking to score. We’re going to struggle a little bit until we get that going.”

Reed City (2-6, 1-4) hosts undefeated Central Montcalm (8-0, 5-0) on Tuesday. Big Rapids (3-5, 1-4) looks to carry the momentum from Friday’s win into Tuesday road game against rival Chippewa Hills (1-5, 0-4).

“We have to remember that it’s more fun to be on the winning side than it is to be on the other side,” Haist said. “They’re gonna be scrappy and intense. We need to get after it.”

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