Erickson eyes banner season for Bucks

LEROY — Lincoln Erickson was expected to miss the first game of Pine River’s basketball season on Tuesday.

But the Bucks 6-6 junior is eager to return to the lineup and help the Bucks pile up the wins this season and be a Highland Conference contender.

It’s his third season on the varsity having played at the top level as a freshman and sophomore. He earned all-state honors last season. He averaged double-doubles. He had a high game of 32 points.

Another all-state post player, Austin Marine, has graduated and that factor might have an impact on Erickson’s role.

“I’ll be more heavily guarded. I’ll see a lot more defense on me,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll be more of an outside shooting force and an inside shooting force.”

Erickson said he worked on his jumping extensively during the offseason.

“We’re a lot faster this year,” Erickson said. “We’ll be a lot more involved in the guards. Our outside shooting will be good. We’ll have good guard play, good post play and good defense. I think we’ll be strong in all areas.

“Turnovers will be our downfall if we lose.”

Erickson was not slated to play on Tuesday because his knee popped out. He’s expected to return for next Tuesday’s Sacred Heart game on the road.

“This group has been playing together since the fifth grade,” Erickson said. “We know each other very well.”

In the meantime, Erickson expects the team to compete for conference honors.

“I think the best team in our conference will be (McBain) Northern Michigan Christian,” he said, adding that defending state runners-up McBain Public “lost a lot of players.”