Evart boys start out with win over Montabella

EVART —  Evart’s boys basketball team started out the season victorious with a 64-44 victory over non-league opponent Montabella.

Evart was up 11-10 after the first quarter, 30-22 at halftime and 43-35 after the third quarter and had a 21-9 scoring advantage in the final eight minutes.

“It was a typical, pretty sloppy start with a lot of turnovers and a lot of go, go, go, but not a lot of balls going in the basket in that first half,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “I didn’t think we really started playing our basketball until three minutes to go at halftime.”

Evart was down 22-16 at that stage of the game.

“We went on a 14-point run to get it to 30 before halftime,” Morgan said. “We played pressure defense, man-to-man. After that we started hitting our shots.”

Robbie Tapling scored 17 points for Evart while Andrew Bengry and Noah Drake added 13 apiece and Danny Griffin had 12. Trevin Ladd added nine points and nine rebounds. Tapling had six assists.

“Andrew Bengry came up with four big free throws at the end to kind of seal it and put it away,” Morgan said. “It was a close game. They’re a real scrappy team. We kind of wore them down.”

Montabella was led by Josh Balhorn with 16 points.

“It was real balanced scoring,” Morgan said. “We had four guys in double figures and Trevin was one point away. It was a good first game to get those jitters out of the way.”

Evart also had a home game Tuesday against Farwell. The Wildcats will continue their home stand by playing Central Montcalm in a nonleague clash Friday. It’s a varsity doubleheader with the Evart and Central Montcalm girls playing in the first game at 6 p.m.

Next week, Evart is at Reed City Wednesday for the final game before the holiday break. Highland Conference action starts in January.