By Craig Beilfuss

FREMONT—The Fremont Packers hosted the Reed City Coyotes on Friday evening and suffered a 50-45 defeat in CSAA Gold league play. Fremont trailed from start to finish.

The Packers actually held an advantage over the Coyotes making 19 field goals compared to Reed City’s 14, however Reed City made Fremont pay by connecting on 20-of-39 free throws and going 10-for-18 in the crucial fourth quarter. Fremont shot fifty percent from the charity stripe going 6-of-12.

The difference was the fouls, said Fremont head coach Wes Zerlaut.

Fremont had three players foul out and found themselves in foul trouble throughout the second half.

We also had times that we let up, got out of position on defense, and then committed fouls trying to make up for it, “Zerlaut said. “It was often our help defenders that got called for fouls, which led to us having two post players on the bench fouled out mid-way through the fourth quarter.”

Fremont head coach Wes Zerlaut gives some instructions to his Packer girls on Friday evening. Fremont went on to a lose a close one to Reed City 50-45 (Photo/Craig Beilfuss)

The Coyotes jumped out to a 12-7 lead after the first eight minutes of play, thanks to the inside duo of Kyleigh Weck and Christina Malackanich who scored nine of those points for Reed City.

Reed City built a 22-10 lead midway through the second stanza, before Fremont closed out the quarter on a 8-0 spurt to narrow the Coyotes lead to 22-18 at the halftime break. Senior Lily VandenBerg would hit three consecutive buckets for Fremont to go along with a basket from freshmen Khaila Noordyk.

The Coyotes increased there lead in the third quarter to 34-26 before Fremont went on a 8-2 run to close out the quarter and closed the gap to 34-32 entering the final eight minutes of action. Noordyk fueled the Packer run with three baskets and Haley Zerlaut contributed with a basket.

Foul trouble began to mount for the Packers though as Kaitlynn Bennett and Noordyk each picked up their fourth personal fouls. Mia Witte and Jessica Bennett each were whistled for their third fouls.

Reed City seemed to be in control with a 8-2 run to open up the fourth quarter, to take a 42-34 lead with just over three minutes to play but Fremont had one more run in them, closing the Coyote lead to 44-42 with 1:40 remaining as they got baskets from Kaitlynn Bennett, Zerlaut and Witte, along with two free throws from Bennett.

The Coyotes would close things out though with the 10-of-18 free throw shooting in the final eight minutes.

I thought our girls played very hard at times, especially in the fourth quarter,” said Zerlaut.

Fremont was led in scoring by senior Haley Zerlaut who finished with a team high 17 points. Sophomore Lily VandenBerg chipped in with 10 points. Mia Witte led Fremont with 8 rebounds, while Khaila Noordyk grabbed 7 rebounds.

Sophomore Kyleigh Weck led the Reed City attack with a game high 18 points. Junior Christina Malackanich joined her in double digits with 11 points.

Fremont falls to 2-10 overall and 2-5 in the CSAA Gold. The Packers will travel to Big Rapids on Friday, January 28 to take on the Cardinals.