Evart snaps losing streak with easy win over Marion

EVART — The Evart Wildcats were hungry for a win Friday night, and it showed against an overmatched Marion boys basketball team.

Layne Nadig scored 19 points and Danny Griffin added 17 in leading the Wildcats (4-6, 1-5) to a 72-25 victory over the Eagles (1-8, 0-5).

Evart, which had a 49-15 halftime lead, had lost six straight following a 3-0 start.

“We knew we had to come out early and start our run,” Wildcat coach Kris Morgan said. “But we didn’t run the whole game. We wanted to get some work on other things. We put in a new zone offense a little bit. We wanted to work on that. It’s the first game we’ve been able to work on it besides practice.”

Griffin scored 15 of his points in the first half, while Nadig added nine points.

“Layne’s been working hard,” Morgan said. “Defensively, he’s a pest constantly on ball handlers. He’s super quick and super smart. He practices like that every day. He gets his shots. He’s starting to get that confidence that he can pull up and hit. If we can get other kids to step up and hit those shots, it will help our whole offense.”

It was a matter of “shooting the ball,” Nadig said. “One of my main roles is probably defense.”

Evart fired out to an 18-0 lead in the first quarter before Marion scored at 1:01. Andrew Booher’s 3-pointer at the buzzer for Evart made it 25-5 going into the second quarter.

“We wanted to jump out early and use our athleticism and our guards to get back on the winning track,” Morgan said.

Marion’s offense picked up slightly in the second quarter. But the Eagle defense couldn’t stop Evart from penetrating inside and getting easy baskets. The Wildcats dominated the boards on both sides.

Noah Drake scored off a steal for a 35-13 lead midway in the second.

Griffin hit two free throws to give Evart a 53-15 lead early in the third. Andrew Maxwell’s drive gave Evart a 55-15 advantage with two minutes left and resulted in the running clock for the rest of the game. It was 56-15 going into the final quarter.

Andrew Bengry’s 3-pointer gave Evart a 62-17 advantage with 5:58 to play. Bengry had nine points for the Wildcats. Marion’s high scorer was Jared Deighton with eight points.

“We were being patient and hoping it would come,” Nadig said of ending the losing streak.

Evart played at Pine River Tuesday.

“Hopefully this win will carry over,” Morgan said. “(Pine River) is a lot like us. They’re a little taller than us, which most every team is. It will come down to hitting our shots, boxing out and playing good defense.”