Crossroads dominates in nonleague victory

EVART — Evart’s girls basketball team picked up its first win of the season on Jan. 19 with a 31-21 Highland Conference win over Marion.

Mara VanOrder had 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 steals for Evart.

“The girls came out and played hard the whole game,” Evart coach Paul Higgins said. “We kept pressure on them all night long and tried to wear them out as much as we could. Mara had another solid night offensively. Macey Wallace had a good night playing defense.”

Meanwhile, Crossroads Charter Academy wasted no time in establishing its dominance Tuesday in posting a 71-29 nonleague girls basketball victory over Evart on Jan. 19.

Jayla Strickland dominated the inside and scored 12 first-half points while Miranda Carlson added 10 points in igniting the Cougars to a 44-14 halftime lead.

“I like the way we came out from the beginning,” Crossroads coach JJ Eads said. “We talked about increasing our intensity on the floor and on the bench and having an overall better team effort from the get-go. I thought the girls did that.”

VanOrder hit four free throws to keep Evart close, 9-6, early in the game. CCA went on a 7-0 run and led 16-6 before Brittani Leonhardt netted a 3-pointer for the Wildcats. Kourtney McKinnon’s putback gave the Cougars a 22-9 lead going into the second quarter.

Carlson netted a 3-pointer and scored off a rebound for a 34-11 lead midway in the second. Soraya Angell netted two straight baskets late in the half to ignite CCA to its 30-point lead at the intermission.

“We showed spurts of what we can do,” Higgins said. “It’s just a matter of sustaining it the whole game.”

VanOrder scored 11 points for Evart, while Macey Wallace added four.

CCA (10-1) is at Pentwater Thursday in West Michigan D League play.

Evart played Pine River on Tuesday and is at McBain on Friday.

“Overall, it will take execution,” Higgins said. “We have to come out and play hard with intensity and get up and down the floor.”