Evart boys post wins over Lake City and Manistee

EVART — Robbie Tapling scored 17 points, while Danny Griffin had 15 and Noah Drake added 11 in leading Evart to its second straight win 63-49 over Lake City on Thursday night in Highland Conference action.

Evart was up 15-6 after the first quarter, 34-20 at halftime and 49-37 after the third quarter. Evart had a 14-12 advantage in the fourth.

“They were definitely a bigger team,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “They were going to be way bigger. We didn’t know how many, if any, knockdown shooting guards they would have. We put in a 2-3 zone and fronted the bigs and tried to make it hard to get it into them and always have a couple of guys around them.

“We wanted to have somebody else beat us besides those two (big players). it was a good team effort on stopping their bigs from taking it to us.”

Lucas Marion, one of Lake City’s big players, had 16 points.

“Our strategy kind of paid off,” Morgan said.

Nolan VanOrder had 10 rebounds and Cody Fournier seven assists for Evart.

The Wildcats are 3-4 overall and 1-1 in the league. They were home Tuesday against Manton and play at Marion Friday

Evart had defeated Manistee on Tuesday, making this a 2-0 week.

“We made some steps against Manistee and the boys started believing in themselves a little bit,” Morgan said. “We have a young team. I think our confidence is growing.”

Evart 84, Manistee 81

EVART — Both teams were hungry for a victory (Jan. 13), but only Evart came away with its hunger satisfied in a 84-81 non-conference overtime boys basketball victory over Manistee.

Manistee fell to 0-7.

Danny Griffin scored 21 points while Fournier added 19 and Robbie Tapling netted 16.

“We talked all game about defense,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “(David Leth) was having a heckuva game for them. You have to live with those guys sometimes. This is our third game of the year that we came down to the end of the game, down with 15 seconds. One game we didn’t get the ball off, the other game we had a turnover.”

David Leth scored 30 points, while Matthew Simmons added 25 for the Chippewas.

“We’re typically a pretty good defensive team but we couldn’t stop them,” Manistee coach Mike Peterson said. “Give them credit for making shots. We didn’t do a very good job defensively.”

The game was tied 75-75 going into overtime. VanOrder, of Evart, scored the first basket. Tapling’s two free throws made it 80-75 with 1:50 to play.  Fournier’s free throws at one minute made it 82-77. Blake Davis scored for Manistee to make it 82-79.

Danny Griffin’s foul shot upped the lead to 83-79. Davis scored again at the other end. With 9.6 seconds left, VanOrder hit another free throw. Leth tried a triple from the corner to tie the game, but if hit off the rim as time


Trevin Ladd hit two straight for a 47-42 Evart lead at 4:59 of the third quarter. Leth, who scored seven points in the first half, netted 15 in the third, including a long three at 3:15 to cut the Evart lead to 50-49. He scored at 2:24 for a 52-52 tie.

Griffin had a full-court drive for a 55-52 lead at 1:49. Fournier’s three with a minute to play gave Evart a 58-53 lead. It was 58-55 going into the fourth.

Leth’s two baskets tied the game 60 early in the fourth. Simmons’ 3-point play gave Manistee a 63-60 lead at 6:10. Noah Drake’s triple cut the Manistee lead to 65-63 at 5:09. Simmons’ layup moments later made it 67-64. The Wildcats were missing some key shots at the other end and Mayan Liston’s layup at 3:28 gave the Chippewas a 69-64 lead. Griffin’s triple at 2:50 put Evart back in front 70-69.

Simmons’ layup put Manistee up 71-70 at 1:50. Tapling hit two free throws for a 72-71 Evart lead at 1:27. Leth scored on steal for a 73-72 Chippewa edge with 50 seconds left. Simmons fouled out with 41.6 seconds to play. VanOrder netted two foul shots for a 74-73 Evart lead.

Evart was called for fouling Andrew Pierson with 15.2 seconds left and the Manistee junior hit both free throws for a 75-74 lead. Evart called a timeout for the final play. With 4.7 seconds left, Noah Drake was fouled and hit one free throw to tie the game at the end of regulation time 75-75.

“We had clutch free throws and big shots,” Morgan said. “Cody Fournier hit some big shots throughout the game.”