Basketball team enjoying 4-0 start

LEROY — The Pine River Bucks were playing so well entering the holiday break, it would be understandable if they wish they could have kept on playing.

The Bucks had a very impressive boys basketball performance Dec. 18 at McBain with a 66-38 romp over the Ramblers.

Tyler Lewis had the hot hand for the Bucks, going  6-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc and winding up with 24 points. Devin Ruppert added 13 points, five rebounds and four assists while Brandon Hoaglund had 12 points, three rebounds and three assists and Mitch McDonald added eight points, seven assists and five boards.

“The boys came out ready to play. We had eight days off before that game,” said coach Brian Goodenow. “The first quarter seemed slow but I think they were working through those nerves and emotions. What we needed to do is keep it close after the first quarter. That’s what these guys did. They turned it on in the second quarter.”

The Bucks are 4-0 and have been doing this without returning starter and junior Skyler Nelson, who has been nursing a broken collarbone he sustained from football in September. He’s expected to return to the lineup sometime in January.

“He’s still on target. Hopefully he’ll get clear the first of the year,” Goodenow said. “He’s certainly going to add to the depth we already have.”

The Bucks resume action Jan. 4 at Marion.

“The biggest thing, especially from watching film, is we don’t rebound as well as I would like,” Goodenow said. “The guys I think are still adjusting. We spread the floor pretty good on the offensive end.

Sometimes when shots go up, I don’t have guys sprinting to the boards the way I need them too. With break, anytime you can work in the gym, we need to work on conditioning. We plan on running.”

Despite the holiday break, Pine River is home Friday for a three-team scrimmage with Reed City and Tri County.

“It’s very important for us to try to keep an edge,” Goodenow said.