Shelby’s Rhett Reynolds swats a shot put up by Eli Pedersen of Florence during the Coyote Classic finale Saturday night in the SHS gym.

The Shelby High School boys basketball team opened their season with two tough losses at the Coyote Classic. They lost a thriller to Missoula Loyola, 50-48, on Friday and Saturday’s contest with Florence, 67-58. 

The Coyotes started out positive against Loyola, leading 29-22 at the half, but Loyola made a charge and stole the game from the Coyotes on a buzzer beater.

“Friday night foul trouble hurt us,” said coach Tom Reynolds. “Logan Leck was lost to fouls early in the fourth quarter. It’s no secret that having Logan on the court is a big positive for us.” 

Reynolds continued, “I was proud of the boys as they were put in different positions and they responded well.”

  Rhett Reynolds led the Coyotes in scoring with 16 points and 14 rebounds. Leck and Taylor Parsons each had 12 points, Tanner Watson chipped in six and Trenton Emerson added two. 

Saturday the Coyotes were slow getting out of the gate, and Florence took advantage of that and held a lead throughout the game. 

Reynolds again led the Coyotes with 20 points, Leck added 16, Parsons chipped in 10, Emerson and Tanner Tustian had four, Aiden Torgerson made three and Watson had one.

 “I was proud of the boys this weekend. We learned a whole lot about ourselves as a young team,” said Coach Reynolds. “I thought there were times that defensively we got after it and made things happen. However, we need to work on focusing for whole possessions. Offensively when we worked together, great things happened,” he added.

Of Saturday’s game, Reynolds recapped, “We had a slow start and it was one of those games where I wished we had a fifth quarter. As a young team I saw us getting better within that game alone.”

Friday the Coyotes will travel to Conrad with tip-off at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday they host Rocky Boy with an approximate 5:30 p.m. start time.

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