In what was the strangest offensive game you'll see this year in high school basketball, the Big Rapids Cardinals held off the Reed City Coyotes to complete the season sweep: 43-27.
The Coyotes managed 6 points in the 1st half including 2 in the 1st quarter, both from free throws. It took Reed City almost 12 minutes to knock down their first field goal. At half the Cardinals held a lead akin to a football game, 28-6.
The 3rd quarter took just an odd a turn; the Cardinals scored 4 points to Reed City’s 17 drawing the game to within 10 but then the 4th returned the scoring to normalcy with the Coyotes managing only 4 points to the Cardinals 13.
The Coyotes never led all night long. The closest they came after the 1st quarter was the 9 points to close out the 3rd.
Leading the way for the Cardinals was senior Jake Martinson with a cool 12 points. Sam Alley added 9 with 2 of the biggest rebounds of the game including a missed free throw put back to drive the nail early in the 4th.
The Coyotes Hansen led with 13 points including 2 triples. Price, Johnson, and Pelton were the only other Coyotes to score.
On one hand you have to wonder if Big Rapids has seen the Coyote team that beat 1st place Fremont earlier this season. The Reed City squad that was vying for 1st place coming into February. It’s questions like these that make the Coyotes dangerous come next Monday in Ludington. Who will show up? The December 7th Coyotes who hosted Fremont and brushed them aside? Or the February 15th Coyotes who scored 6 points in a half.
On the other hand, you have to give it to Big Rapids. Legendary Coach Kent Ingles and his staff have focused on the side of basketball people often forget; defense. And it’s paying dividends.
The Cardinals mixed up their zone last Friday which confused and baffled the Coyotes to the tune of 22 turnovers. Add in LJ Graves’ 3 blocks and there were no easy possessions for Reed City.
Big Rapids has given up the 2nd fewest points in the Conference behind only Fremont (47 & 46 respectively).
The Coyotes host Central Montcalm tonight and Newaygo Friday to end their regular season. The Cardinals host Newaygo tonight, head to Chippewa Hills tomorrow, and host Grant Friday.
Tune to WBRN 1460, 107.7, & 96.5 for the play-by-play action of both the Lady Cardinals and the Boys Cardinals with Bryan Fongers and J.T. Scarpelli starting at 5:45p tonight (2/18/2019).
You can also stream the game via the Betten Baker Chevy Buick GMC Live Stream here!