Evart can’t keep Lake City off glass in loss
EVART – Lake City was on the offensive with its rebounding Friday night.
As a result, the Trojans scored a 59-45 Highland Conference boys basketball victory over the Evart Wildcats.
Drew Marion scored 19 points while Ryan Vincent added 14 to lead the undefeated Trojans, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the conference, past the Wildcats, who dropped to 1-4 and 0-1.
Devon VanOrder led Evart with 12 points while Jacob Hopkins added eight rebounds and Jonathon Hooker and Jared Pattee had five and four assists, respectively.
“They really outworked us on the glass,” said Evart coach Kris Morgan. “We gave them 12 offensive rebounds. They only had 11 defensive rebounds. We can’t give them shot after shot.”
Hooker netted a 3-pointer for Evart early in the third quarter to tie the game 26-26. Marion hit four straight points to put the Eagles back in front. Jake McKinstry got Evart back in it with a 3-point play. The Trojans went on a 6-0 run with Marion’s baseliner giving his team a 38-30 lead. Kevin Kunkle scored late in the quarter for a 41-32 Trojans advantage.
Jeramie Lyle swished in a triple to give the visitors a 46-35 lead at 6:47 in the fourth.
Lake City continued to get some key rebounds in the fourth. Lake City’s Dylan Allard hit two free throws for a 50-37 lead at 4:45. Kunkel scored off an offensive rebound and a 56-41 Lake City lead with 2:52 to play and the Wildcats committed a costly turnover. Jared Pattee fouled out with 2:17 to play, putting Evart in deeper trouble. Lake City was able to run the clock down to secure the win. Marion’s 3-point play with 1:24 to play made it 59-41.
“They executed their offense well,” said Morgan, adding that at a critical time in the third quarter, “they started hitting their jumpers and started hitting their shots.”
Both teams were plagued with turnovers in a first half that ended with Lake City up 24-21.
“I think both teams were a little rusty that first half,” Morgan said. “They were hitting their shots and we were kind of plugging along.”
“I thought we played pretty hard,” Pattee said. “It didn’t help not having played (since the holidays).”
Marion scored seven points in the first quarter for Lake City, which was up 17-12 despite six points from Evart’s Jacob Hopkins.
Devon VanOrder’s three-point play early in the second cut the Trojans’ lead to 21-17.
On an inbounds pass, Pattee connected with Nate Struble for two points to make it 21-19. The Trojans had a 3-2 advantage the rest of the half.
“We have a good group of unselfish kids and they have bought into the system,” said Lake City coach Dale Eising. “I thought we were flat tonight, but everyone will be that way coming out of the break. Our defense has been tough. I thought we didn’t get as many (points) off the transition as I would have liked.
“I have smart kids. They don’t care who scores the points as long as we get the win.”
Evart plays home with Manton next Thursday in league play.