Evart stuns Lake City with last second shot

EVART—Thursday night served up a dramatic Highland Conference girls basketball victory for the Evart Wildcats that saw them take down rival Lake City on a last second shot.

With Lake City having multiple players over six feet tall, Evart was severely undersized. Yet that didn't stop the Wildcats from pulling off the upset over the league favorites with a dramatic, last second 42-40 win.

"I want to give all the credit to my team. I thought that it was there to win tonight. And they played and executed beautifully. And I was just there to kind of encourage them along the way and guide them," coach Carrie Kunkle said.

The game was back and forth throughout the evening, with Lake City taking the first quarter 8-6, Evart leading at halftime 19-17, and the Trojans leading going into the fourth quarter 31-29. It looked like Evart was in trouble to begin the fourth quarter, allowing Lake City to go on a 7-0 run to fall behind 38-29.

"Normally, we would give up after that. We all came together as a team. We talked like we felt like we were working together as a team," senior Addysen Gray said. "We knew that our team would have our backs no matter what. We wanted it so bad, we've never beat Lake City in all four years that I've been here."

Evart would only allow two points the rest of the way. The Wildcats would go on a 13-2 run to end the game capped off by freshman Kyrah Gray's two-point jumper with seven seconds left to break the 40-40 tie. The play wasn't completely how Evart drew it up out of the timeout, but Kyrah Gray found space inside the arc to give the Wildcats the lead.

"Kind of the philosophy is to run the play and when it breaks down scramble and see what you get," Kunkle said. "And that's what they did. They scrambled and this time it fell in our favor."

Lake City was barely able to get the ball up past half court before time ran out due to Evart's full court press, allowing Evart to pull off the 42-40 upset. It was the perfect summation of a night that saw Evart force numerous turnovers against the taller Lake City Trojans.

"Yeah, we'll definitely remember this game. We pulled it together and played defense the whole four quarters. I think it was a great four0quarter basketball game," Senior Brianna Cass said. "We were helped by that whole game plan and communicate. And we fronted the post."

The leading scorer on the night was Emma Dyer, who scored 18 points on the evening off 63 percent shooting from two-point range. Addysen Gray scored seven points and four rebounds, Kyra Gray scored six points. Brooklyn Decker had five rebounds.

Evart will play Manton on  Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. in Evart.

Houghton Lake 43, Pine River 37

HOUGHTON LAKE – Pine River led 12-11 after the first quarter, 27-19 at halftime and 31-28 after three quarters.

Houghton Lake had a 15-6 scoring advantage in the final quarter to pull out the win.

Amanda Hill had 11 points for the Bucks and seven rebounds. Taylor Stewart had nine points.

“Houghton Lake had a 2-3 zone in the second half to cool us off and our shooting didn’t prevail,” Bucks coach Steffen Halvorsen said.

Pine River (1-3) is home with Tri County on Monday.