Evart boys basketball team opens season Tuesday at home

EVART — Ten seniors give Evart coach Kris Morgan 10 reasons to be optimistic over the upcoming boys basketball season. The Wildcats are coming off an 7-13 season last year but returning 10 seniors on the 12-man roster. The other two players are juniors.

Last season was Morgan’s second as coach and progress was made, he indicated, from year one.

“Our overall record wasn’t as good as the previous year, our conference record was better,” Morgan said. “We beat people we hadn’t beaten in a long time. We beat NMC and Beal City.”

Two consistent starters are back from last season with seniors Jacob Hopkins and Jared Pattee. Tre Dyer and Derek Bowen also are back on the roster.

Chris Garner at 6-6 is on the roster as a senior after not playing a year ago. Other seniors expected to contribute quite a bit include Jacob Fortune and Larry VanBuren,

“If we can keep our composure and work in practice...sometimes turnovers can hurt us, but I think we have the talent to do some things this year,” Morgan said. “Most of them have been running our offensive system for awhile so they should have that down. Again, there’s 10 seniors in this group. They’re used to playing with each other. We should be athletic and quick enough.”

The season tips off next Tuesday night at home against Farwell and continues Dec. 12 in a pair of non-league games. The Wildcats finish out the remainder of their December schedule with home games  Dec. 17 against Highland Conference foe McBain Northern Michigan Christian and Dec. 20 against non-conference rival Northport.

This marks the third week of preseason practices for the Wildcats.

“We’re trying to get a couple more sets down in our offense,” Morgan said. “We’re trying to put in a little press and fast break offense too.”

Morgan expects an intriguing race in the Highland this season.

“The Highland Conference is always solid,” Morgan said. “You have to start with McBain. They lost some players from last year. I know McBain will do a good job. Beal City with their athletes will be solid. Pine River too, will be all right, and Lake City with Drew Marion.”