EVART -- The 2021 season will be unlike any that Evart girls' basketball coach Matthew Tiedt, his players or staff have ever been part of.

On Wednesday night, Tiedt's Lady Wildcats played their first game of a new, highly anticipated campaign, falling at home to the McBain Northern Michigan Christian Comets 43-24.

Despite the loss and having a few things to tweak as the season goes on, Tiedt is confident in his team's ability to get things done and win some games.

"We definitely have a lot to work on," Tiedt said. "The girls, they're learning the playing in two games thing still and we have freshmen that are timid, which is to be expected."

During Wednesday's contest against NMC, Tiedt's team struggled to consistently produce opportunities on offense.

When these opportunities did come, the Wildcat girls ran into some trouble converting those chances, but Tiedt said he thinks that will soon change.

"We'll start making a few shots as the season goes; we're almost always a slow-starting team for some reason," Tiedt said.

Moving forward with 12 games remaining on the shortened-season schedule, making their shots and staying out of foul trouble on defense are going to be two things Tiedt said the Evart girls will focus on in the future.

In the game against NMC, there were stretches where Evart perhaps got more physical than the officials would have liked, and as a result, Tiedt was forced to go to his bench earlier than he initially planned.

Still, that is not necessarily a negative in the eyes of the Wildcat coach.

With the stop-start nature of the offseason and the players getting virtually no contact practice under their belt prior to the abrupt start of the season, Tiedt said it's important for everyone to chalk up some serious minutes, whether it's a starter or someone coming off the bench.

"Hopefully we can keep it together a little bit better, as far as keeping the girls on the court that need to be on," Tiedt said. "We don't have to go to our bench quite as early but we definitely need to have some productivity out of the bench, so it wasn't the worst thing in the world to get them tested early. They're going to get some minutes."