EVART — Evart’s girls basketball team lost some key seniors last season and a main assignment for coach Paul Higgins this summer is getting his returning players and newcomers critical playing time.

That includes senior Rachel Martin, one of the few returning Evart players who was at a home scrimmage the Wildcats had with Forest Area, Harrison and Marion.

“We’re young,” Martin said, adding the main emphasis “is probably shooting and defense. We’re pretty new. (Summer ball) is pretty important to get to know each other. We have quite a few scrimmages lined up and some open gyms.”

The open gyms consist mainly of players shooting baskets.

“If we have enough girls, we scrimmage,” Martin said.”You’re mostly working on form.”

Martin also does softball and said she’ll participate in some summer pickup games.

Evart coach Paul Higgins said he’s been working with eight players.

“Being summer and not having a lot of girls coming in and having different schedules, we’re limited in what we could do,” Higgins said. “Overall, we’re limited in what we could expect. They looked rusty at times but other times they looked OK.”

This week is a period all Evart sports teams take off for a mandated “dead time” by the Michigan High School Athletic Association. Prior to this week, Higgins took his team to a scrimmage in Central Montcalm where the competition was likely to consist of several Class B schools.

Evart is Class C.

“We’ll be able to see where we’re at against those teams,” Higgins said. “We’ll possibly go to Farwell on a Friday (later in July) and face some multiple teams there.”