Evart falls in overtime to Montabella in season opener

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BLANCHARD ― A busy opening week of boys basketball action started for Evart Monday night with a 57-55 loss in overtime to Montabella on the road.

“We had plenty of chances to win it,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said.

Robbie Tapling scored 15 points to lead Evart while Cody Fournier, Noah Drake and Nolan VanOrder all scored eight apiece.

“It was close from start to finish,” Morgan said. “We had the lead most of the time. It was the first game of the year for both teams.”

Players like Danny Griffin had limited playing time, Morgan noted, because of foul trouble.

“We’re a young team,” Morgan said. “It comes to executing down the line. We had a chance to win it at the free-throw line at the end of regulation and missed both of those. We were down two at the end of overtime, got fouled and missed those. We had our chances.”

Evart, in the middle of a three-game week, has its final game Friday at Central Montcalm.

Two sophomores Morgan plans on using a lot are Trevin Ladd, Cody Prichard and Griffin. All three played varsity football as sophomores.

A junior new to the team this year is Drake.

“He was with our program as a freshman with the JVs,” Morgan said. “He was in a different program last year and now he’s back with us.”

Morgan likes the way his team has meshed together.

“There’s no major egos, there’s no problems getting along well,” Morgan said. “They all kind of know what we’re going to be about this year. So they’ve all bought into what we have to do. They’re ready to go.

“Opening week, three home games, we only have one the following week, that gives us a chance to recover.”

Morgan expects to run eight players deep.