EVART ― Robbie Tapling is in his junior season with the Evart boys basketball, team but was brought up halfway through his sophomore year.

“I felt it was a learning experience,” he said. “I felt I played good. I meshed really fast with the guys.”

His varsity play during the 2013-14 season brought Tapling into this winter as one of the key players for the Wildcats and coach Kris Morgan.

“It helped me get a boost,” Tapling said. “We only had two returning seniors. It helped me take the next step and be ready.”

So far early in the season, Tapling’s role has been well known.

“They want me to score, inside scoring,” he said. “My goal this year is to try to get more assists.”

Prior to recent losses to Central Montcalm and Chippewa Hills, the Wildcats had lost to Montabella in overtime and defeated Farwell in a matter of two games.

“I feel like we’re meshing well so far,” Tapling said. “We get off to a slow start.”

He wants to improve on his jump shot.

The Wildcats are now on break. Next month, they open their Highland Conference schedule.

“If we’re shooting well on a certain night, I think we’ll be fine,” Tapling said. “If we get off slow like we have been, it will be a tough year.”

The key to getting off to a good start is “to stay focused,” he added. “We have to put losses behind us and keep playing basketball.”