Evart basketball players earn all-conference honors

EVART — Evart junior Danny Griffin and senior Robbie Tapling earned honors for the all-Highland Conference for the recently completed boys basketball season.

Griffin is a guard who averaged 16.0 points, 5.5 rebounds per game, 2.0 assists and 1.2 steals per game. He shot 33 percent from 3-pointers and 50 percent in other field goals.

Tapling averaged 11.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists and shot 60 percent from 2-point field goal territory. He’s a three-year varsity player.

The Wildcats had their postseason banquet last week. They finished 6-15. They started out at 3-0 before losing to Reed City prior to the holiday break and only won three games after that.

“I felt that the Reed City game when Noah (Drake) went down right off the start (with an injury) was kind of a turning point for us,” Wildcat coach Kris Morgan said. “We didn’t have a whole lot of height to begin with. Noah was never the same for the rest of the season.

“With him fully healthy, we were able to run a little more. He was able to get some more rebounds and explode. That was a big turning point. We could never recuperate from that. This was a great group. I’ve had them for two years. Most of them were up with me as a sophomore. It was a really good group. I wish we could have gotten more wins. The Highland is a tough conference. I was proud of them. We worked through some adversity. This was a great group.”

A strong core of returnees is led by Griffin along with starting center Trevin Ladd and starting guard Layne Nadig. Cody Pritchard and his brother, Carter, a freshman who was brought up from the junior varsity late in the season, will both return next season.

“We’ll run our summer program again,” Morgan said. “We’ll probably head over to Ferris and try to get in as many games as we can during that three-week section in June.”