MORLEY — After a rocky first quarter, the Evart boys basketball team pulled away from White Cloud 69-48 in Class C district play Monday at Morley Stanwood High School.

Danny Griffin led all scorers with 24 points and crossed the 1,000-point barrier for his career.

“We’ve been talking about the milestone this whole year,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “We kind of wanted to hit it earlier, but we’ll take it now. Hopefully he can play without that pressure now.”

While excited about the achievement, Griffin was quick to give credit to his team for his success.

“My teammates are always pushing me in practice,” Griffin said. “They’re making me a better player every day. I’m thankful for that.”

Layne Nadig scored 14 points and Carter Pritchard added 13.

Trailing 16-13 at the start of the second quarter, the Wildcats went on a 12-1 run to take the lead for good and took a 33-25 lead into halftime.

“The first half was a little rough,” Morgan said. “We had way too many turnovers. We were doing things that we haven’t done all year and not in a good way.”

White Cloud scored the first five points of the second half, but Griffin led the Wildcats on a 20-4 run to close out the quarter to lead 53-34 to take control of the game.

“I thought Danny played well,” Morgan said. “He’s a little bit too unselfish sometimes. He’s gotta get that killer instinct going. There was nobody out here that could have stopped him tonight when he put the ball on the floor.”

The key to Evart’s success was using defense to fuel its offense.

“Once we found our footing, we went to the 1-3-1 zone,” Morgan said. “We haven’t run that a ton this year, just here and there. When we need that energy and need that push, our defense gets us over that hump.

“Layne Nadig works his tail off, putting Jericho VanScoyoc on the other side allows us to trap and jump passing lanes. We play better with defensive pressure.”

With the win in hand, Evart sets its sights on Wednesday’s matchup with Pine River in the district semifinal held at Morley Stanwood.

“This win was good,” Morgan said. “It’s what we’re supposed to do. We’ve had two good games against Pine River. We’re right where we need to be.”

Pine River is 2-0 against the Wildcats this season.