Evart boys drop second game of season

Brayden Cass, of Evart, looks to make a play against Houghton Lake. (Herald Review/John Raffel)

Brayden Cass, of Evart, looks to make a play against Houghton Lake. (Herald Review/John Raffel)

EVART – Evart was unable to take advantage of having the home court for the second straight night on Thursday.

Houghton Lake built a 27-22 halftime lead and came away with a 62-52 Highland Conference boys basketball win.

Haidyn Simmer scored late in the first quarter to give the Wildcats a 10-8 lead. It was 10-9 after the first eight minutes.

Both teams struggled offensively throughout the first half. Houghton Lake started edging ahead in the second quarter. Bryce Rypke netted a triple to give the visitors a 25-22 lead.

Broc Lindsey netted a 3-pointer for a 34-25 Houghton Lake lead early in the third. Nate Sochocki scored two free throws at 2:20 to cut the gap to 40-30. Simmer’s two free throws cut it to 40-32.

It was 43-32, Bobcats, going into the fourth.

Simmer hit three straight free throws at 6:05 to cut the Bobcat lead to 46-38. Brayden Cass scored moments later to make it a six-point game. Simmer’s two free throws at 4:26 cut it to four points. Rypke scored inside for the Bobcats and added two free throws at 3:43 for a 50-42 lead. He netted two more for a 52-42 lead at 3:11. The Wildcats, meanwhile, couldn’t convert at the other end during some key possessions.

Cass netted a triple at 2:02 to cut it to 52-45. Two Cody Meigs free throws gave the visitors a 54-45 lead. The Bobcats went into a ball control offense to force the Wildcats to foul.

Nolan Theunick and Sochicki scored two quick baskets for Evart to make it 55-49 with a minute to play. The Bobcats added a free throw as Evart turned the ball over. Two Meigs free throws put Houghton Lake up 58-49. Cass hit a long triple with 16.2 seconds to play to cut the deficit to 58-52. But Rypke iced it at the other end with two free throws.

Haidyn Simmer had 24 points for Evart, while Cass had 13, and Sochocki seven. Rypke led Houghton Lake with 18.

Houghton Lake (1-1, 1-1) lost to Beal City 36-31 earlier this week.

Evart (0-2, 0-2) lost at home on Tuesday, Feb. 9,in the season opener to McBain Northern Michigan Christian 57-34.

Sochocki and Gavin Simmer scored eight points apiece for Evart.

Evart will be at Roscommon on Wednesday in Highland action.