Bucks start 1-1

LEROY — Shots that were not falling for Morley Stanwood finally went down late in the game to allow the Mohawks to hold back upset-minded Pine River 56-50 in nonleague action Thursday night.

Bailey Cairnduff scored 21 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter while Elyse Starck added 14, including six in the final eight minutes, to lift the Mohawks in this battle of 1-0 teams.

“We executed in the fourth quarter and we executed some of out sets,” said Morley Stanwood coach Bob Raven. “We got a few defensive stops. But we didn’t play very well. We didn’t shoot very well.”

“I thought for the most part we outrebounded them for considering how much we’re outsized by,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “We had a couple of key turnovers in the last few minutes.”

The Bucks entered the fourth quarter with a 36-35 lead and were up 40-39 at 5:20 on Michelle Kelsey’s basket. Alyssa Nelson hit a pair of free throws while Cairnduff netted a field goal and 3-pointer to put her team up 46-42 with 3:30 to play.

Starck scored off a steal with 1:09 to play to give the Mohawks a 52-47 lead. Jamie Justin, who led the Bucks with 18 points, converted for a 3-point play with 36 seconds to make it 52-50, Mohawks. But Stark hit two free throws with 34 seconds to play.

Chelsea Nelson, who scored 15 points, netted nine in the third quarter. Her triple with 1:05 left in the third gave the Bucks a 34-31 lead. They led 36-35 going into the fourth.

“We did exactly what we came to do,” Chelsea Nelson said. ‘We played as a team and sent a message to other teams.’”

“Give Pine River kids credit, they out-played us,” Raven said. “But we won. It’s good to be able to win and maybe learn a few things. We got off to a good start. We were feeling good about ourselves after beating McBain by 20. Pine River plays well in their home gym.”

“We’re learning every day,”Ruppert said. “We’ll be learning for awhile. We’re young, but I was very pleased the way we played together.”

Pine River was at Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart on Tuesday.

Pine River fired out to a 30-14 halftime lead and scored the first eight points of the third quarter on its way to a 55-42 girls basketball nonleague victory oover Reed City in the season opener for both teams Tuesday night, Nov. 29.

Jamie Justin led the Bucks with 21 points.

When Kassy Nelson netted one of her three triples of the night early in the third, the Coyotes had a commanding 38-14 lead. But Justin picked up her fourth foul and had to sit on the bench. The Coyotes took advantage with Mason hitting three field goals and two free throws in the quarter to cut the Bucks lead to 40-30 going into the fourth.

“When you get up like we did and let them get back, that’s not acceptable,” said Ruppert. “I have a lot of young girls.”

Justin returned to the game in the fourth and netted a triple to make it 46-30. She hit two free throws in the waning moments of the game to make it 51-38.

“We can’t rely just on one girl,” Ruppert said. “We have to learn that you’re playing varsity basketball. Some of the girls are a little unsure of themselves. They’ll get better.”

The Coyotes had offensive woes in the first half. Haley Raymond had a triple and Justin netted seven. Justin netted seven points in the second quarter to make it a 30-14 halftime lead.