Evart girls fall to Marion, Clare

EVART — Both teams were hungry for a girls basketball win when Marion visited Evart Thursday night.

In the end, Marion prevailed with a 52-36 Highland Conference victory.

Kristen Kullman led Evart with 11 points while Tabby Turley had eight, Mara VanOrder added six.

Marion scored 37 points in the second half after only netting 15 in the first two quarters.

“Another team showed up,” Marion coach Brian Miller smiled. “I think it was basically a mental thing. They played with more confidence and we were attacking and believing we could do it. That’s the biggest thing.”

“There were a lot of variables, we had foul trouble,” said Evart coach Paul Higgins. “We’re not moving our feet...Having missed assignments. That’s a story of our season.”

Both teams struggled offensively in a first half that ended with a 15-15 tie. Kullman hit a 3-pointer and Mara VanOrder scored four points to give Evart a 9-7 lead after the first period.

The Wildcats didn’t score in the second quarter until the final two minutes on triples from Tabby Turley and Kullman.

Turley’s 3-point play midway in the third tied the game 21-21.

Amber Gillespie had eight points in the quarter and gave the visitors a 27-23 lead. Kullman’s 3-point shot cut Marion’s lead to 27-26.

Lilly Swiler had four points late in the quarter to help Marion build a 35-28 lead going into the fourth. Kassidy Duncan’s putback at 5:30 gave Marion a 40-32 lead. Untimely turnovers hurt the Wildcats in their comeback bid. Anissa Keeler scored off the press breaker for a 46-35 Marion lead at 1:15.

Marion improved to 6-11 overall and 2-9 in the league.

Duncan scored 14 points for the winners while Gillespie had 13.

“We have to shoot the ball better,” Higgins said. “We have to rebound better. We just have to play better basketball.”

Evart fell to 0-12 in the league Thursday and is 0-18 overall following a 65-11 loss to Clare on Monday. VanOrder had seven points for Evart.

The Wildcats are home Friday against McBain in the season finale.