Big second half lifts Chippewa Hills over Evart
REMUS — It was halftime and Chippewa Hills girls basketball coach Doug VanSyckle couldn’t fault the effort. His team trailed Evart 22-20 at intermission, but the Warriors were playing hard. What VanSyckle asked of his team at halftime was to play smarter. Chippewa Hills did just that and rolled to an easy 59-26 victory. The Warriors are now 1-1 on the season, while the Wildcats fall to 0-2 on the year. “At halftime, I didn’t doubt their effort,” VanSyckle said. “Their effort was being exerted in the wrong areas. So in the second half, we needed a smarter effort, not a harder one.” That smarter effort had to be on the defensive side of the ball, where the Warriors wanted better help from the weakside defender and making sure the offense was turning into defensive help. Chippewa Hills had success doing that when Evart got the chance to run its offense in the second half. However, the Wildcats struggled to get into offensive sets as the Warriors began the third quarter with a full court press that gave Evart problems. “I expected it earlier,” Evart coach Howard Hyde said. “We knew what it would be and that is something they will work on next week.” The pressure was so good in the third quarter that Chippewa Hills outscored the Wildcats 16-1 in the stanza to take a 36-23 lead. Even after the Warriors dropped the full court pressure, Evart struggled to score, recording only three free throws in the fourth quarter. Part of the problem for the Wildcats was foul trouble. Evart had only six players, missing one starter. “With six girls, it’s a struggle at times to get their legs going,” Hyde said. Meanwhile, Chippewa Hills had no such problems. Led by Hannah Guy, who tallied 20 points, and Kendall Boone, who netted 17 poins, the Warriors wore down the Wildcats. Guy also grabbed 12 rebounds. “They work together in the post and help each other,” VanSyckle said. “They are a tough combination to stop.” The first half saw Evart able to work the ball and get good shots and were able to hang onto the basketball. Back-to-back three-pointers by Kristin Kullman and Tabitha Turley gave the Wildcats a 17-14 lead with five minutes remaining in the first half. “When we ran (our offense) we got some buckets,” Hyde said. “I thought we played a great, great first half.” Kullman led Evart with 13 points, while Mara VanOrder tallied eight points before fouling out. Chippewa Hills is in action Friday when it travels to Central Montcalm. Evart travels to Vestaburg on Wednesday. View more photos from this game at our photo gallery! CHIPPEWA HILLS 59, EVART 26 Evart 11 11 1 3 — 26 Chippewa Hills 12 8 16 23 — 59 Evart (0-2) Kristin Kullman 3(1) 4-5 13, Tabitha Turley 0(1) 2-5 5, Lydia Wetters 0 0-1 0, Mara VanOrder 4 0-0 8, Totals 7(2) 6-11 26. Chippewa Hills (1-1) Olivia Wolfe 2 0-0 4, Emily Starck 0 2-2 2, Amanda Koepf 0 0-1 0, Taylor Sellers 1 1-2 3, Callee Stirn 0 1-3 1, Kendall Boone 5 7-8 17, Emma Eldred 1 0-0 2, Teagan Denslow 2 6-7 10, Hannah Guy 8 4-9 20, Totals 19 21-32 59. Rebounds — Evart 25 (VanOrder 11, Kullman 7), Chippewa Hills 27 (Guy 12, Boone 5). Assists — Evart 2 (Kullman, VanOrder 1), Chippewa Hills 11 (Stirn 4).