Evart girls notch impressive victory

Wildcats overpower Clare Pioneers

Evart's Skylar Baumgardner dribbles ball down the courth on Monday against Clare.

Evart's Skylar Baumgardner dribbles ball down the courth on Monday against Clare.

Pioneer photo/John Raffel

EVART – Quality wins are special this time of season for any girls basketball team.

But a 63-49 win for Evart (12-6) against a strong non-league foe in Clare (11-8) on Monday was very sweet.

“it was a good win for us,” Evart coach Matt Tiedt said. “That’s a scrappy team. I thought we got a big win at home. We’ve struggled with a couple of them. It was good to get a good win. We fought the whole game.”

Clare led 20-10 after the first quarter and 36-33 at halftime. The Pioneers came out to a 40-33 lead to open the second half and seemed ready to run away. But Evart hit 12 straight points and late in the period led 47-40 off a steal and basket by Brooklyn Decker. It was 48-44 going into the fourth.

Evart’s defense continued to thwart Clare in the fourth quarter and Emma Dyer’s triple made it a 59-49 Wildcat advantage.

Addy Gray had 25 points for Evart with 13 in the first and 12 in the second. Dyer had 17 points while Skyler Baumgardner added 14 and Allyson Theunick had six.

“We played good, we played as a team,” Gray said. “We were a little rough in the first half. But we pulled it together and our defense got a lot better. We’re especially doing well on our zone. We worked well together.”

“We’ve had a lot of games were we haven’t been able to put that final stretch in,” Tiedt said. “They really put it on at the end. They closed out the way they should.”

Izzy Jones led Clare with 15 points.

“They were a very good team but I think we played a good whole game,” Skylar Baumgardner said. “Normally we play half kind of bad.”

Evart is at Farwell Tuesday and at Roscommon on Thursday to end the regular season.

Houghton Lake 49, Pine River 41

HOUGHTON LAKE – In this Monday Highland Conference game, Houghton Lake was up 13-8 after the first quarter, 25-14 at halftime and 41-26 after the third quarter.

Isaiah Dennis had 24 points and eight rebounds for the Bucks. Lukas Fisher had six points and Evan Esiline had five points.

“Foul trouble was the story,” Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said. “Isaiah and Austin both picked up two in the first quarter and had to sit the rest of the half. We turned the ball over way too many times and fell into a deep hole.  Isaiah did everything he could to get us back into it but we came up short. 

“We’ll be ready for another shot at them Thursday at home.”

Pine River is 8-10 overall and 5-9 in the conference.