Evart, Pine River girls draw honors from Highland Conference

Three girls basketball players from Evart and four from Pine River have earned all-league honors from the Highland Conference it was announced recently.

Evart had two all-conference players in Kortney Dennis and Courtney Hooker.

Also for Evart, Chelsea Bengry earned honorable mention honors.

Dennis, a junior, led the Wildcats in points. She averaged 11.1 points per game. She also averaged 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 steals.

“She was on the varsity since she was a freshman, so this is her third year going in,” Evart coach Larry Brown said. “We expected a lot from her from the offensive end and she gave us quite that. She could (score) in a variety of ways, go inside if needed to or step outside and hit 15-foot jump shots for us. She shot 79 free throws for us. The offensive side, she did what we expected her to.

“I felt she was our leader on defense also, very vocal. Her major increase this year was on the defense side. She really improved in those areas. I feel she can be one of the best players in the conference come next year.”

Hooker is a senior and was the second leading scorer for Evart with 8.9 points and 3.1 rebounds a game. She led the team in steals with 3.0 per game and in assists with 3.3 per game.

“She shot almost 100 free throws for us this year,” Brown said. “She stepped it up this year on offense and was aggressive with the basketball. She hit some threes for us this year. She’s a great leader.”

Bengry, a junior, averaged five points a game and led the team in rebounds with nine per game. “Her main thing was she was a part of our defense also and gave us a solid post player who could grab rebounds for us,” Brown said. “The first part of the year, she was getting used to playing styles. I look forward to having her next year. I’m returning nine juniors. I only three seniors.”

Pine River had three girls on the first team including senior Molly Motzer, who averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and two steals per game.

“I think her outside shot improved, but I think her role changed,” said Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert. “She had to score more this year. She took it upon herself to do that. Last year, she didn’t have to do that.”

Jamie Justin, a sophomore, was also on the first team. She averaged 12 points and four rebounds a game.

“She started out really strong and then she got injured,” Ruppert said. “She had surgery on her foot after the season was done for bone chips. Then she had mono during the year. It was kind of a tough middle-of-the year for her. At the end of the year she came around and helped us too.”

Miranda Nelson, a senior, made the first team after averaging nine points and six rebounds per game.

“Miranda started out kind of slow, I thought,” Ruppert said. “As she got into better shape, she realized her senior year was about done. I thought she had a good last month and did a nice job.”

Sarah Goodenow, a senior, made the league’s honorable mention list. “She was one of our better defenders and one of our top rebounders,” Ruppert said. “She had some nice games at districts that helped us beat McBain and Manton.”