Evart girls end regular season, set for district action this week

BEAL CITY — Evart’s girls basketball team enters district play Wednesday night at Beaverton against the host team.

Beaverton defeated Sanford Meridian 48-44 in a first-round district game Monday night.

“Beaverton is a pretty solid team,” said Evart coach Paul Higgins. “They’ve got a nice little point guard and a pretty good post player that’s decent. They finished third in the Jack Pine Conference.

Pine River 62, Evart 22

LEROY — Pine River opened a busy slate of games with a 62-22 victory over Evart in Highland Conference girls basketball action Tuesday, Feb 18.

Kassy Nelson scored 16 points and Julie Justin added 14 for the Bucks.

Next Monday, Pine River plays at Farwell against the Eagles in a Class C district first-round game.

“Hopefully we get healthy,” said Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert. “We’re getting thin on the bench. “

“We’re playing our hardest and trying to win all our games,” Justin said, “and play good defense. I think we’re getting there. We can do better. Our defense lacked a little bit tonight. We didn’t rebound too good (Tuesday.”

Mara VanOrder led the Wildcats in scoring with eight points.

Nelson had 12 points, including two 3-pointers in the first quarter while Julie Justin added six points to key a 25-5 Bucks lead going into the second. VanOrder had three field goals in the second for the Wildcats.

But the Bucks continued to soar with Justin scoring four more points in the second to key a 37-14 halftime advantage. Leading by 23 at halftime, the Bucks opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run. Erin Koetje had six points in the third for the Bucks who led 55-18 after the quarter.

“I thought we came out well in the first and third quarters,” Ruppert said. “I wasn’t too  happy with the second quarter. But it’s hard (for players) to keep it going.”

The Bucks played in throwback uniforms. Evart was without starting junior Kristin Kullman, who is nursing a sore knee.

Nelson had six rebounds, six assists and four steals for the Bucks. Kelsey had six assists and four steals.

“I thought Erin Koetje had one of her better games,” Ruppert said. “She was aggressive.”

Justin a freshman, said she’s improved on her shooting since early in the season and on the transition game.

Koetje had all 11 of her points in the first three quarters.

Pine River improved to 12-2 in the league and 13-3 overall.

“We have to stay strong and try to do our best and try to win all our games,”Justin said.

Evart ended the regular season 0-13 in the league and 0-19 overall, plays at home against McBain Friday night.