Harris set to play key role again for Pine River

LEROY — Lucas Harris made significant contributions to the Pine River boys basketball attack as a sophomore and junior.

He’s ready to do it again as a senior.

Harris and Mitch McDonald are among two key returning players for the Bucks, who were undefeated Highland Conference champions last winter.

“I got a lot more confident,” Harris said of his progression from a sophomore to junior. “I got a lot better with the ball. Mainly the confidence thing is what I’ve been working on.”

He did some work on his game during the offseason.

“During soccer season, I’d come in the mornings and work out,” he said.

Coming into the season, “we’re looking pretty good,” Harris said. “We have to make sure we have a team emphasis. If we do that, we can play with anyone.”

This season’s team “is really not all that much different,” Harris said. “We’re all athletic and have a bunch of shooters. We’re fast. We’ll push the ball up, just like last year.”

It appears that Harris’ role will change this season.

“I have to be more of a leader,” he said. “I have to have confidence and not get frustrated if I do something bad.”

Harris considers being a part of fast breaks to be among his best points. “I want to get better at ball handling, taking people to the rim and finishing,” he said.

Pine River started out 2-0 last week with wins over Harrison and Traverse City Christian. Harris is hoping the team can go for another conference title.

“We’re going as far as we can, the sky’s the limit,” he said. “Everybody will be tough.”

The key for success, Harris said, will be “defense, taking care of the ball and running up and down the court.”