EVART — Evart is 2-0 but the Wildcats had to work harder for this one.

A week after opening the season with a 66-36 stomping over Farwell, the Wildcats held back Coleman 49-45 Monday night in non-league boys basketball action to remain unbeaten with their second victory of the season.

Preston Boyd scored 13 points while Jesse Lang added nine points and had two key free throws in the late going for the winners. Jarek VanOrder added nine points and 13 rebounds.

“That was a scrappy win,” said Evart coach Kris Morgan. “To be down only by six at the half, we could have been down by a lot more. Tonight, the shots weren’t falling. If you keep working on offense, those shots will open.”

Coleman, led by Ryan Walton with 11 points, fell to 0-3.

“It was our defense,” Boyd said. “Our defense picked up and we started playing as a team. We started controlling the boards and got our offense going. It was a combination of everything.”

The Comets were up 30-24 at halftime and led 37-28 with 3:33 left in the third quarter on a triple by Tim Anderson. But Lang and Boyd both netted triples in the quarter and a putback by VanOrder at the buzzer gave the Wildcats a 39-37 lead.

The Wildcats missed some key foul shots late in the game. Boyd missed three straight but hit with 37.2 seconds to go for a 47-45 Evart lead. Coleman missed at the other end and Lang grabbed the defensive rebound. He was fouled and hit both free throws to seal the win.

“We wanted to get the ball in Jesse’s hands there at the end and know that with his senior leadership, he could seal the game,” Morgan said.

Bell hit a triple to spark Coleman to a 16-9 lead over Evart in the first quarter. Lars Murray had a triple in the second quarter for Coleman. Boyd scored five points in the quarter for Evart, which struggled with turnovers and trailed by six at the intermission.

“They stayed in the zone most of the night,” Morgan said. “They’re a good scrappy team.”

Evart plays Wednesday at Vestaburg.

“I talked to the Coleman coach and he said (Vestaburg) didn’t have a whole lot coming back,” Morgan said. “But like tonight, we have to play hard against every team.”

Boyd, a senior, is optimistic over prospects for the rest of the season.

He was a freshman when the Wildcats went 0-21. In the next two seasons, they continued to rack up more wins. This year, Boyd is hoping Evart can contend for a title.

In Monday’s win over Coleman, Boyd scored 13 points. He netted 18 points and three steals in Evart’s win over Farwell on Dec. 5 to open the regular season.

The Wildcats had to come from behind to defeat Coleman.

“It was our defense,” Boyd said. “Our defense picked up and we started playing as a team. We started controlling the boards, worked as a team and got our offense going. It was kind of slow to begin with. It was a combination of everything.”

The Wildcats were having problems finding the range at times. In fact, Boyd missed three straight free throws late in the game before finally hitting one to help his squad seal the victory.

“We pulled it through and started making them,” Boyd said. “I think we’re doing great. We have to come back strong the next game. The road gets harder from here.”

Boyd is obviously hoping this will be his best season.

“I’m hoping to get a conference or district championship or something,” he said. “I want to go out the best I can.”

Boyd is looking to produce more for the Wildcats in scoring and other areas this season.

“Senior leadership is a key on this team,” Boyd said. “We look to step it up whatever way we can, whether that’s defense, scoring, or giving assists. We all have a role on the team.”

Boyd wants to improve on his defense.

The game against Coleman “woke us up, definitely,” Boyd said. “We usually do pretty good against this team.”