Bucks disappointed with district loss, but still enjoyed championship season

LEROY — Skyler Nelson’s last game in a basketball uniform was an impressive one.

Nelson scored 20 points in Pine River’s Class C boys district title game Friday at Beaverton against the host school.

But the final result, a 55-46 loss, was obviously disappointing, ending the Bucks season at 19-3.

“We didn’t hit our free throws and that was a big part of it, and they did,” Nelson said. “I don’t feel it was an intensity or nervous thing. it was just one of those nights when for the guys, shots just didn’t fall.”

The Bucks dearly wanted another district title and a chance to go after a regional crown. It didn’t happen but one major jewel of the season was the Highland Conference title. Not only did Nelson and the Bucks secure the title but they did it with a 14-0 record.

“The season was really cool,” Nelson said. “Going undefeated in the conference was an awesome thing. it’s too bad we couldn’t get a district title. It was still a successful season.”

The Bucks entered this season without several standouts that graduated last year. Still it was a Pine River championship season. Nelson indicated the Bucks exceeded expectations this season.

“(One newspaper) had us getting fourth in the conference and then we went undefeated,” he said. “The very last conference game against Beal City, we won with two seconds to go. That was probably our biggest one.”

Nelson has been on the varsity since midway his freshman season.

“Definitely, beating McBain in the (2013) district finals, that was awesome,” he said. “Then there’s all the friendships you build with all the different guys.”

He’s planning on playing spring baseball for the defending regional championship Bucks team.