Evart girls basketball coach has optimistic outlook

EVART — Evart girls basketball coach Paul Higgins entered the season realizing he had big shoes to fill with the graduation of Mara VanOrder.

But players like Mackenzie Kimball and Brooke Belleville stepped up in major ways to help the Wildcats find success throughout the season.

Evart finished the season at 5-16.

"Midway through the season, we ran up against a stretch of games where we were playing some decent ball," Higgins said. "We were 3-3 in that stretch at one point. We were making some progress.

"But our league was as tough as all get out. At the end of the day, I had a lot of kids playing. I had two freshmen up. They got some good experience and hopefully that will carry over and we can build off of that going into the offseason."

MacKenzie Kimball was the team's leading scorer. Kimball was a sophomore in her second vasity season.

"She improved," Higgins said. "She had some good moments. She came a long way from last year. That's a positive going into next year. Cyanna Dellar came a long way, too. She made leaps and bounds from last year. We have her for another year and that will be nice."

The Wildcats graduated Belleville, Megan Wade and Sidney Sanders.

"I have a good nucleus coming back," Higgins said. "It depends on what we can get from them during the offseason. It's not like last year when we had to replace Mara and all her numbers. We have two freshmen coming back and six core players, plus the other ones that were there."

The junior varsity had perhaps two players that could help the varsity next season, Higgins indicated.

"It's hard to tell looking at it right now," he said. "Can they play at the varsity level? We'll find that out in the offseason."