Evart boys team falls to McBain NMC

EVART — It wasn’t a good week for the Evart Wildcats against McBain opponents.

The Wildcats (0-1, 3-3) lost to McBain Northern Michigan Christian 64-42 Friday night in Highland Conference boys basketball action.

Evart has lost three in a row after a 3-0 start. The Wildcats were coming off a 91-50 loss to McBain Public in Tuesday’s Highland Conference opener.

“We just couldn’t hit a shot,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said after Friday’s loss. “I’m afraid to look at our field goal percentage. I don’t even want to know the numbers. They were open but they weren’t going in.”

Chase Garnaat scored for a 15-7 Comet lead with 2:05 left in the first quarter. Andrew Bengry netted a pair of 3-pointers to get Evart back in the game. Garnaat had a 3-point play late in the quarter for a 18-13 NMC lead.

The Wildcat offense struggled in the second quarter. NMC’sCody Winkle scored six points early in the quarter on inside shots and Brett Rodenbaugh added a 3-pointer. The Comets led 29-15 before Layne Nadig netted a 3-pointer from off the bench. Tapling scored six points in the quarter, but NMC was up 40-22 at halftime.

“They ran a lot through Winkle and Garnaat,” Morgan said. “They ran that screen on top, and we tried to play pressure defense, but they were going right by us. We were shooting 3s and missing them and they were constantly going to the hole and finishing with layups.”

Evart’s Danny Griffin, who had been quiet most of the night, netted a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to 45-32 with three minutes left in the third. The Wildcats outscored the Comets 10-6 in the third quarter, but still trailed 46-32.

The Comets opened the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run to take control of the game, and Cody Farr’s 3-pointer made it 58-34 with four minutes remaining.

“We knew that they were a great shooting team and we had to contest every shot, and we had to rebound,” NMC coach Dave Veddler said. “We actually played defense pretty well on (Danny Griffin) and had to to stay out of foul trouble because we knew they were fast and they could drive.”

Garnatt led the Comets (2-0, 3-1) with 20 points.

“We wanted to make sure Evart didn’t get into a rhythm because they are streaky shooters and we know they can put up 10 points in a hurry,” Veddler said. 

Robbie Tapling and Bengry scored 12 and Griffin had eight for Evart.

Griffin and Tapling scored 15 points apiece in the setback to McBain Public.

“The Highland is going to be solid,” Morgan said. “I knew coming in that NMC is good. We watched the tape against Lake City and they played really well. They hit their shots.”

Evart has a nonleague game at Manistee on Monday and is home against Beal City on Thursday.