EVART — Danny Griffin had the hot hand Friday night for Evart with 25 points in a 64-38 victory over Marion in Highland Conference action.

The Wildcats won despite the absence of Nolan VanOrder, who was out with an illness.

“So we were with out one of our big guys,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “Cody Pritchard ended up filling in for Nolan’s spot. He had 10 points.

“We played all right, nothing too special. We worked on our defense a little bit.”

Evart is 4-5 overall and 2-2 in the league.

The Wildcats were scheduled to play at Beal City on Tuesday. They’re home next Tuesday with Pine River.

Meanwhile, Manton’s boys basketball has been making some noise in the Highland Conference and the Rangers were heard loud and clear Tuesday (Jan. 20) at Evart.

The visitors used a hot-shooting first half to build a 41-23 halftime lead and take a 68-41 league victory over the Wildcats.

Manton scored eight 3-pointers in the first half, including five in the second quarter to take control of the game. Freshman Hunter Ruell was hot with three triples, including two in the second quarter. Another freshman, Jayden Perry and sophomore Treh Helsel, both hit two 3-pointers in the half.

Evart trailed 16-10 after the first quarter, but couldn’t keep pace with Manton.

Cody Fournier, Griffin and VanOrder hit triples for the Wildcats in the second half.

Manton also was causing problems with its pesky defense and superior rebounding edge.

Trevin Ladd scored two baskets early in the third for Evart, which was trailing 45-27. Manton cooled off from its hot shooting, but the Wildcats couldn’t take advantage and trailed 53-34 going into the fourth. Jonah Nelson hit two free throws to open the quarter and Manton was ahead comfortably 55-34.

“We talked about it, but we didn’t make the adjustments we talked about running our 1-3-1,” Morgan said. “We talked that weak points would be their corner shots. We didn’t get there in time. They’re a young team, but we let them pressure us. They dictated the tempo.”

Ladd led Evart with eight points, while Griffin and Noah Drake had seven apiece.

Manton improved to 7-3 overall and 3-1 in the league. Ruell scored 17 points, while Ethan Ancick scored 12, Wyatt Baker added 11 and Jayden Perry netted 10.