EVART — It’s been a building season of sorts for a young Evart boys basketball team as the Wildcats look to catch fire in the final weeks of the season, while relying on the likes of standout players such as junior Noah Drake.

He’s a first-year varsity player and one of Drake’s best games was a recent 17-point effort in a loss to Pine River.

“He did play well,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “He’s capable of that every night.”

His point total against the Bucks was Drake’s best so far this season. Pine River won that game, but Drake is hopeful Evart can do better during the rematch at Pine River March 3.

“We have to work on boxing out and getting a hand on their guy,” Drake said.

As the season progresses, Drake has some specific goals he’s hoping to achieve.

“I want to get more consistent for sure,” he said. “I feel like I can step up my game more, and whenever I’m in, make a difference for the team.”

His confidence in shooting continues to improve.

“I’m not worried about that,” he said.

After Thursday’s 57-37 loss to Highland Conference foe Beal City, the Wildcats fell to 4-10 overall and 2-7 in the conference.

“Boxing out is the main thing right now,” Drake said. “Going into every game coach says we need to box out and work on the small things. If we execute the small things, we should come out with a win.”

The Wildcats came to the first day of practices in November without many returning players. But Drake sees where plenty of progress since then has been made.

“I feel like we know each other very well,” Drake said. “We just have to work as a team on doing the small things and execute those.”

Evart is on the road this week with Highland Conference game at Lake City Friday.

Next week, Evart is home with a non-league game Monday against Clare and a Highland contest Feb. 26 with Marion.