Evart boys basketball set for league opener at Beal City

EVART -- Evart’s boys basketball team will make its final appearance before the holiday break when the Wildcats travel to Beal City this Friday night in the Highland Conference opener.

Coach Kris Morgan’s team is bidding to enter the holidiays on a winning note.

Tuesday night, the Wildcats played at Manistee. They were trying to bounce back from a disappointing 48-46 loss to Coleman on Dec. 10.

“We really need to work on our turnovers,”Morgan said. “At halftime, we had 12 points and 12 turnovers. That killed our offense and killed our defense. We’re letting them come right at us. We have to work on our turnovers, take care of the ball and convert on our layups.”

Manistee was 0-4 prior to Tuesday’s game. The Wildcats were 1-2.

“They’ve been playing pretty tough competition,” he said. “I expect them to give us a good game. They’ll come right out at us.”

Jared Pattee’s status entering this week was iffy although he was expected to see some action.

“At practice today, he was not at 100 percent,” Morgan said on Monday, noting that Pattee would not be starting against Manistee. “It depends on how we play. If we’re playing well, he probably won’t see the floor very much. But if we’re struggling and we need that little spark...we might find a way to get him in there and make something happen.”

Pattee sustained an ankle sprain in the Boyne City game.

Jon Hooker and Nathan Struble are sharing the lead in scoring for the Wildcats.

Beal City is expected to be among the better teams in the Highland Conference again.

“They have athletes and have a new coach this year” Morgan said. ‘I’m sure they’ll be running and gunning and playing hard.”