Evart girls fall to Vestaburg

EVART — Vestaburg used aggressive defense and consistent drives to the basket to get the best of Evart Monday night.

Shana Fisk scored 16 points and grabbed seven steals to lead the visiting Wolverines to a 43-27 non-league girls basketball win over the Wildcats.

Vestaburg improved to 2-4, while Evart, playing without starting sophomore center Mara VanOrder, out this week with an ankle injury, fell to 0-5.

Kristin Kullman led Evart with 12 points.

“I thought at times we looked pretty solid,” said Evart coach Paul Higgins. “We came out and pressed. It’s something we’ve never really worked on. I thought considering that lack of preparation, we got some turnovers on it.”

Evart fired out to a 3-0 lead on Kullman’s 3-point play. But the Wolverines went on from there with seven unanswered points. Shana Fisk had five points in the first quarter, which ended in a 9-6 Wolverine lead.

Evart struggled on the boards in the second quarter. Kendra Borton had four points and Vestaburg led 18-9 at halftime.

The Wolverines got baskets on inside drives early in the third quarter. Kullman and Tabby Turley hit field goals to keep Evart in the game. Rebekah Wrizley hit six points for the Wolverines in the quarter, which ended in a 30-17 Vestaburg lead.

Kullman drove inside to open the fourth quarter for Evart.  Fisk scored from a pass inside to give the Wolverines a 35-19 lead. Tina Fournier’s triple for Evart at 3:59, cut the lead to 35-24. Fisk’s 3-pointer gave Vestaburg a 39-25 cushion with three minutes to play. Ryalee Dove’s putback with 1:20 to play gave Vestaburg a comfortable 42-25 lead.

“Defensively, I thought we did some nice things,” Higgins said. “We also got broke down, especially on the weak side, on ball rotation, or poor bad possession when the shot went up. A lot times, we weren’t covering the weak side ball handling area. That hurt us a couple of times.”

“Our key thing was our big girl inside, Ryalee Dove,” said Vestaburg coach Troy Johnston, adding that his team’s defense “was OK. From a coaching standpoint you always want more.”

Dove had nine points and eight rebounds.

“We played well on defense until we got tired,” Turley said. “We weren’t making a lot of shots.”

“The second half, we could never get over the hump,” Higgins said. “We’d make some buckets and get some turnovers but come down and not get anything out of it.”

Scoring-wise for Kullman “that’s probably her best game all year,” Higgins said. “We had some decent looks tonight. We’re not having shots fall.”

Not having VanOrder able to play has been a disadvantage, Higgins admitted.

“Just with her presence alone,” he said. “That opens everything up plus the energy she provides on the defensive end.”

The Wildcats are home Thursday against Lake City in Highland Conference action.


The Wildcats lost 56-13 to Beal City Friday in Highland Conference action.

Kullman and Allyssa Witbeck had four points apiece for Evart.

“Mara was out with a sprained ankle,” Higgins said. “We shouldn’t have lost by (43) points