Evart boys basketball falls after issues with turnovers against Newaygo

EVART—Turnovers, free throws and "bunnies."

Those were the keys to Evart's defeat on Monday night against Newaygo according to coach Kris Morgan. Evart battled through these to keep a competitive game against the larger Newaygo team, but ultimately fell 49-45. 

"The big part for us were three keys," Morgan said. "Turnovers, which we had way too many of them. Free throws, they capitalized on their free throws at the end. They didn't miss. I don't know if there was maybe one all game. We were probably around 50 percent. Then bunnies, we got to the rim quite a bit, especially in that second half and just couldn't convert."

Bunnies in basketball are open shots near the rim.

Evart had a number of turnovers throughout the first half but stayed close and trailed only 25-23 at the intermission. Evart took the lead with efficient scoring inside while limiting Newaygo to 10 points. Evart led 39-35 entering the fourth quarter.

Newaygo stiffened up on defense, limiting Evart to six points in the fourth quarter. Newaygo would claw its way to a one- point lead with 30 seconds left in the game. Evart would get a few opportunities near the rim, but nothing would go down for the Wildcats. After free throws, Newaygo would seal the win.

"For the most part, I thought we played well," Morgan said. "Our offense was pretty much under control and we weren't trying to push the ball too  fast. When we got out of control, that's where it killed us."

Dakobe White led the Wildcats with 14 points. Kamden Darling was second on the team with 10 points. Marcel White and Jordin Albright had six points apiece.

This was the last game before the holiday break. The next game for the Wildcats will be on Jan. 3 at home against Beaverton.

"Just turnovers," is what Morgan said Evart would be working on over the break. "We've really got to play fast. We get Dakobe, Marcel, Jordan, Cam running up the court, that's how we've got to play. So you got to be able to play like that and finish without turning the ball over. Our 3-point shooting is not where we really want it right now. We need to get that fine-tuned and there's a lot of opportunities for these kids to get a lot better."