Barnett made key contributions for Pine River basketball team

LEROY — The key for any girls basketball team to have a strong season is is to have solid contributions from players off the bench.

The Pine River Bucks got that from players like Anselma Barnett this season.

She was a sophomore in her first varsity season.

“The key right now is to focus on offense, and get some good passes instead of throwing the ball away,” Barnett said after a late-season win. “Rebounding was a big thing and we’re working on that. My goal is to rebound, that’s what I got moved up for.”

To be an effective rebounder, “you have to be able to be strong, be able to jump, box the girl out and don’t be afraid to go in and get the ball without fouling,” Barnett said. “A couple of games, I did bad, but I go back to practicing and do a better job of boxing out.”

Barnett had 10 points in a recent win over Manton.

“Usually, I make only like two points,” Barnett said, adding that the key in her effort against Manton was “not being afraid to shoot.”

She indicated shooting around the free-throw line is her best shot.

The Bucks were Highland Conference champs and lost 54-50 to McBain in the district title game.

“We’re playing really good,” Barnett said late in the season. “We’re all getting really confident. We’re getting stronger and just trying to be a better team. It’s mostly been teamwork.

“We’re helping each other out when we get down. When we get back on that court, we’re all confident about it.”