Evart sophomore post player anticipating productive season

EVART — Mara VanOrder realizes her freshman season with the Evart varsity basketball team was a learning one and also very productive at times.

While the learning process continues, VanOrder is also looking for even more of a productive sophomore campaign.

VanOrder and the Wildcats started practices a week ago and are getting ready for a regular season that starts Dec. 3 at Farwell and continues with the home opener Dec. 6 with Chippewa Hills.

“Last season, I thought we did a really good job when we only had eight girls on our roster which kind of hurt us when we weren’t in shape as much,” VanOrder said. “We’re more improved from last year.”

The Wildcats graduated four players from last season. Returning players besides VanOrder include Tabby Turley and Kristin Kullman.

VanOrder was happy with her freshman season.

“I had a lot of help from the girls. Even though I was a freshman on varsity, they really taught me the ways of the varsity,” she said. “I’m looking forward to improving this year. I’m looking to improve on my jump shot this year.”

She’s looking at improving her shooting form and improving her shot percentage.

VanOrder attended several camps over the summer and has been playing at Morey Courts.

Evart has a new coach with Paul Higgins. VanOrder is expecting more numbers on the varsity.

“My role will still be a post player,” she said. “We’re looking to winning more conference games.”

VanOrder is coming off her first season in volleyball. She played junior varsity and then got moved up to the varsity late in the season and for districts.

“It was a change, but I learned a lot of new things,” she said. “My serving and my timing in blocks and spikes got a lot better. The girls worked together well.”

In the past, VanOrder ran cross country. But in making the transition to basketball, “I think volleyball helps me with the team aspect,” she said. “Lot of the girls that play volleyball also plays basketball.”