Big Rapids girls hold back Reed City 43-35

Reed City’s Alison Duddles (left) gets set to battle Big Rapids’ Makenna Rautio for the rebound during Friday’s girls basketball game. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS — Big Rapids’ girls basketball team was going for a 2-0 regular sweep over Reed City on Friday night.

Big Rapids won 35-25 at Reed City earlier in the regular season.

The Cardinals hit their free throws down the stretch to post a 43-35 Central State Activities Association Gold Division rematch win over the Coyotes.

“It was physical, as usual,” Big Rapids coach Jessica Haist said. “It’s two teams that have been struggling a little bit and you know they’re going to come to play for a Big Rapids-Reed City.”

Holly McKenna netted a 3-pointer early in the game for a 12-2 Cardinal lead. Layla Yost scored later for the Coyotes, who trailed 16-4 after the first eight minutes.

Harrison hit a 3-pointer for the Coyotes to cut the Cardinal lead to 16-8 early in the second. Annah Folkema hit a 3-pointer to give Big Rapids a 21-19 lead late in the quarter. It was 23-12 at halftime.

Harrison scored inside to cut the Big Rapids lead to 30-25 late the third quarter and later scored again to make it 31-27 going into the fourth.

Both offenses continued to struggle, but Reed City started making a move.

Harrison drove for a basket at 5:33 to cut the BR lead to 33-31 and Reed City later tied the game 33-33. Megan MacKall’s free throw put the Cardinals back in front. 35-33 with 4:10 to play. A minute later, McKenna hit 3-of-4 free throws, which included two technical foul shots and swished in two more seconds later for a 39-33 lead. Ariana Costie’s two throws made it 41-33 with 1:40 to play.

“I thought we stayed in the zone a little too long,” Reed City coach Brian Koopman said. “I have three kids sitting on the bench with injuries. We thought we’d go to a 1-2-2 zone and try to save ourselves and save our legs and do things. They got some shots and made them. We had to battle back.”

McKenna had 21 points for Big Rapids while MacKall. Folkema and Ariana Costie had six apiece.

“We’re happy to come out with a W,” Haist said. “It is what it is.”

Harrison had 15 points and Maddie Morgan seven for Reed City.

“I’ll give my kids credit,” Koopman said. “Every game, we’ve been playing hard. Our defense was pretty good again.”

Big Rapids (5-10, 3-8) is home with Newaygo on Monday. Reed City (2-14, 1-10) plays today at Chippewa Hills. Both games are makeups because of the weather.

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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