Bucks look to close regular seasons strong

LEROY — Pine River’s girls basketball team is in its final two weeks and it’s the final three for the boys as the regular seasons are drawing to a rapid close.

A non-league game for the girls was snowed out at Manistee on Monday and will be rescheduled later. The 15-1 Bucks, winners of a 15-game win streak, are at Evart Thursday in Highland Conference action.

Pine River opened the season with a loss to Reed City and hasn’t sustained a setback since then.

“I think that loss, help us more than anything,” Ruppert said. “That showed us we need to work harder on our defense. We tightened down our defense. Our rotations are better. Our defense has led to offense a lot.

“I’ve been happy with our rebounding.”

Haley Raymond, Jamie Justin and Kassy Nelson have led the Bucks in rebounding. Justin and Nelson are the top scorers.

“We have some decent teams left on our schedule,” Ruppert said. “That will get us ready for districts.”

Pine River is getting close to the league title. They have a two-game lead with three games to play.

The boys squad had Marion at home as a scheduled game on Tuesday and is at Lake City Friday.

Pine River entered the week at 12-2.

“Lake City is playing well right now,” said Pine River coach Brian Goodenow. “They knocked off McBain at McBain, that makes the conference interesting. Beal City has one loss in the conference and Pine River and McBain have two. Beal City and McBain still have to play each other twice.

“The last couple of games, our rebounding has been up and our assists have been up and we’ve played great defense.”