BEAL CITY — The Beal City boys basketball team claimed the game of league unbeatens against Pine River on Friday, 62-61.

Pine River, which is ranked No. 8 in Class C, falls to 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the Highland Conference. Beal City is now 7-3 overall and 4-0 in the league.

The Aggies made a free throw late in the fourth quarter and the Bucks had an opportunity to win it, but a drive to the basket did not result in a bucket or foul.

Beal City outscored the Bucks 15-6 in the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t play our kind of defense that we have been playing and when (Beal City) got open looks, they drained them,” Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said.

Pine River was paced by Lincoln Erickson with 20 points and nine rebounds. Devin Ruppert tallied 11 points and five boards and Skyler Nelson finished with 11 points.

The Bucks are in action Thursday when they travel to Evart.

Pine River 62, Lake City 47

LEROY -- Brandon Hoaglund and Lucas Harris scored 14 and 12 points to lead the Bucks to a 62-47 win over Lake City in Highland Conference action.

The Bucks, ranked eighth in last week’s Associated Press Class C state basketball poll, built a 32-19 halftime lead.

The Trojans started hitting more of their shots but the Bucks responded. Mitchell McDonald passed to Harris for a 40-27 lead midway in the third. Late in the quarter, Skyler Nelson scored on full-court drive for a 48-33 lead going into the fourth.

Early in the fourth, Hoaglund hit two straight for a 52-35 advantage, while Lake City continued to struggle offensively. Nelson hit a free throw at 4:40 for 55-37 lead. Hoaglund’s 3-pointer at 3:33 gave the state-ranked Bucks a 58-37 lead. Devin Ruppert fouled out at 3:08 with 10 points. Two Nelson free throws at 2:59 gave the Bucks a commanding 60-39 lead as the Pine River fast break was dominating.

“That is Pine River basketball,” said Bucks coach Brian Goodenow. “I don’t know who we play, we’re going to push the ball all the time. Part of it is because we have good ball handlers. A lot of it too is our depth.

“It was teamwork,” Hoaglund said. “We really pushed the ball and moved it well.”

Tyler Lewis scored a pair of treys to lead the Bucks to a 10-2 advantage early in the first quarter. Harris had a pair of buckets to help his team stay ahead 14-8. Devin Ruppert scored on a layup just before the buzzer for an 18-8 lead going into the second quarter.

Senior Lincoln Erickson, who is nursing a torn meniscus in his left knee, didn’t start but came in early in the second quarter and hit two key shots inside for a 26-16 advantage. Lake City continued to struggle on the offensive end and Harris ended the scoring for the half for a 13-point lead.

“Lincoln’s good, he tweaked his knee before the (McBain Northern Michigan Christian) game,” Goodenow said. “So we held him out this one, just precautionary. But he’s good to go. He missed a couple of practices. So we had Lucas Harris start and he played well.”

Harris also had seven rebounds for the  Bucks who also netted seven boards and six assists from McDonald.

“They just killed us on the boards,” said Trojans coach Dale Eising. “He allowed them to get a lot of transition points. In the first half, I didn’t have them prepared I guess. We played unsure of what we’re going to do offensively.”

Lake City fell to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in the league,

“Lake City wasn’t 6-1 by accident,” Goodenow said. “They’re a very well-coached team. We knew they would be coming at us hard. We knew they would play well.”