Evart junior off to a strong start for girls basketball team

EVART -- It didn’t take long for Mara VanOrder to find her game on the varsity level.

VanOrder had 17 points and 15 rebounds for the Wildcats last Wednesday while Kristen Kullman added 13 points and eight rebounds for Evart, 1-2 overall, in a 34-30 win at Vestaburg.

“We had the lead the whole game,” said Evart coach Larry Brown. “A negative part of it was our turnovers. We had a lot of unforced turnovers. But we had 46 rebounds. We only gave them one shot and that was it. We had great team defense. Rebounding won the game for us.”

VanOrder recalls that she made most of her points off from jump shots. She had a three-pointer and also some putbacks.

“I feel like driving is my strength,” she said. “If I take a couple of dribbles and take a jump shot, that’s a good point too.”

The win over Vestaburg was a sweet one for the Wildcats.

“I was so pumped,” VanOrder said. “All the team feels more confident now in the season. That gave us some good momentum to face the conference teams.”

Going from eighth grade to varsity has taken some adjustment.

“I’m nervous before each game,” VanOrder said. “I know there’s a lot of pressure being on varsity. But my teammates help me out so much and I feel like I’m getting used to the pace much more.”

VanOrder indicated jump shots, rebounding and ball handling are her strengths.

“I’m trying to work on my boxing out and my free throws,” she said.

Evart played Beal CIty at home Tuesday and is at Lake City Friday in Highland Conference games.

“Our team goal is to win some conference games,” VanOrder said.

The Wildcats are working with a 7-player roster.

“One of our goals is to stay in shape,” VanOrder said. “Staying strong during the game is something we’ll be working on.”