Evart boys basketball sneaks past Marion 41-26

EVART — It probably wasn’t the best offensive night of the season for either team, but Evart got the job done in a 41-26 Highland Conference boys basketball victory over Marion Friday night.

Jared Pattee had a complete night for Evart with 14 points, seven rebounds, five steals and four assists to lead the winners who also netted seven points apiece from Jacob Hopkins and Nate Struble and seven from Devon VanOrder.

Nate Root netted seven points for Marion.

“It wasn’t our best performance but we definitely put it together and came out with the W,” said Evart’s Jacob Hopkins. “We limited their rebounds. The last game with them, they had 50 rebounds.”

“We have to be strong with the ball,” said Evart coach Kris Morgan. “Anytime you get it down there, we can’t let a couple of hands make us turn the ball over. We have to work on turnovers.”

Marion fired out to a 4-0 start in the first quarter and then Evart scored nine straight. Pattee canned a triple and had five points in the first quarter, which ended with the Wildcats up 12-8.

Pattee struggled at the free throw line in the second quarter, going 0-for-6. But on an inbounds pass off from the side of the basket, he passed to Hopkins for an easy layup at 1:05 and a 26-16 lead, which is how it stood at halftime.

Both teams continued to struggle shooting in the second half, although the Wildcats opened with a 4-0 run. Hopkins had six points in the quarter and Evart took a 34-19 lead going into the fourth.

Pattee’s triple at 5:26 gave Evart at 37-21 lead. He followed with two free throws moments later for a 39-21 lead.

Pattee was 4-of-4 in free throws during the fourth.

“We played Wednesday and we really scored well,” said Marion coach Harold Dodde. “Evart was getting too many easy buckets from the baseline in the first half. That’s how they got off to their lead. We made some adjustments to it and I don’t think they scored from the baseline again. “

Evart was 1-of-11 in free throws the first half and 5-of-6 in the second.

“We wrote that on the board at halftime, 1-of-11 on free throws,” Morgan said. “Jared came out at halftime and shot free throws on his own while we were warming up.”

Evart, 4-6 in the league and 6-9 overall, played home Tuesday with McBain Northern Michigan Christian at home and is at Pine River Thursday in Highland Conference action.

“We couldn’t buy a bucket (Friday) and Evart’s defense had something to do with it,” Dodde said. “They’re quick to the ball and grab and claw at you. They’re aggressive.”

Marion fell to 1-9 in the league and 4-11 overall.