EVART — Nolan VanOrder is continuing to provide the type of senior leadership the Evart Wildcats are looking from him as the team is bidding to have a strong finish for the rest of the regular season.

One of the top moments came in mid-January with a non-league victory over Manistee.

“That was our first home-game win so it felt good and we really needed it,” VanOrder said. “We scored well (in that game) but our defense was still a little shaky.”

That was a game in which two players scored most of the points, while the Evart defense controlled the other players. But VanOrder, in upcoming games, knows it’s critical to try to shut down the opposition’s big guns.

“We need to put more pressure on them from inbounding the ball to all the way down the court,” he said.

This week, the Wildcats were scheduled to play Tuesday at Pine River and will be home Friday against McBain Northern Michigan Christian and at McBain next Tuesday.

“I think we’re improving,” VanOrder said after a recent game. “Hopefully by the time the districts come around, we’ll be at our peak.”

It’s VanOrder’s second varsity season.

“I feel that I’m playing pretty good,” he said, “I play my role, usually I score a little more (than he did in a recent game) .”

The Wildcats have been using several sophomore in the varsity lineup and VanOrder has been impressed with their efforts.

“A couple of them have been stepping up and making a big benefit to the team,” VanOrder said, adding that the key in future games is to “play better defense.”