Evart girls fall to Lake City

EVART — A sluggish first half offensively proved costly for the Evart Wildcats in Friday’s 37-21 loss to Highland Conference girls basketball opponent Lake City.

Evart struggled in the second quarter and was outscored 12-2 by the Trojans who took a 23-10 halftime lead.

It was the lowest point total this season for Evart. The previous low was 24.

“I liked the way we moved on defense, holding them to 21 points,” Lake City coach Bill Tisron said. “Our focus was (Kirsten) Kullman. She didn’t have any at half. She and Mara (VanOrder) were our focus.”

Kullman, Evart’s leading scorer this season, had two points.

Allyssa Witbeck hit two field goals in the first quarter to keep the Wildcats close. But Lake City hurt the Wildcats with a putback in the second quarter. Serendity Morgan scored off her own steal to give the Trojans their 23-point halftime lead.

Turnover woes hurt the Wildcat comeback effort in the third quarter. Morgan scored off another steal for a 27-12 lead midway in the quarter. The Trojans also were hampered with turnovers to keep Evart in the game. It was 29-12 after three quarters.

VanOrder scored inside to cut the deficit to 29-14 at 5:59. She drove for another basket and Tabby Turley hit two free throws at 4:06 for a 31-18 score. Lake City’s first six points of the quarter were on free throws for a 35-18 lead.

“Their defense stopped us from driving the ball,” VanOrder said. “It was not our night. Our shots didn’t fall.”

Witbeck and VanOrder had six points apiece for the Wildcats.

“I thought our effort was there,” VanOrder said. “They did stop our driving. That was the key thing.”

Evart, 4-11 overall and 3-7 in the conference, has a Highland contest Thursday at Marion. The Wildcats are at Lake City Saturday for a makeup game.