Houghton Lake girls basketball rallies over Evart
EVART -- A key early fourth-quarter surge by Houghton Lake, led by Jade Kauffman, helped the Bobcats break open against Evart and post a 59-52 Highland Conference girls basketball victory over the Wildcats on Wednesday.
"I was happy," Evart coach Matt Tiedt said. "We're a little winged right now with three would-be starters out."
It was 16-11, Evart, after the first quarter and 31-26, Wildcats, at halftime. Addy Gray's turnaround jumper gave Evart a 43-40 lead late in the third. It was 43-42, Wildcats, going into the fourth.
Kauffman hit four free throws and a 3-pointer, early in the fourth to put the Bobcats in control 51-45.
Kauffman was accidentally struck in the face and had to leave the game with two minutes to go. But the Bobcats led 58-50 with a minute to go on Maddy Roll's free throw, and the Wildcats couldn't get the key points they needed.
Skylar Baumgardner scored for Evart with 25 seconds to play but the Bobcats were up 59-52.
Early in the third quarter, the Bobcats lost their star player Macy Bisballe to a possible knee or ankle injury.
"We had a real good first half," Tiedt said. "I think that injury affected us more than it did them. We got flat after that. I hated to see that. It bothered everybody. I talked to them and they're hopeful she'll be back."
Gray, a freshman had 19 points for Evart, followed by Skylar Baumgardner with 11, Madison Parish with eight Livia Hopkins with four and Kara Henry with two.
Gray's best game has been 21 points.
"I was shooting well and had a lot of free throws," she said.
Kauffman had 24 points for Houghton Lake.
Evart again had to play without standout senior Kelci Elder, who is nursing an injury and is out indefinitely. Kyleigh Burhans and Mckenzie VanBuren are also out with injuries.
Evart (1-5, 4-5) is home with Reed Cithy on Friday. Houghton Lake is 5-1 and 7-1.
"We're doing good but we could do better," Gray said.
"There's some positives to come away with," Tiedt said. "Houghton Lake is a real good team. If we get to full strength, we can maybe give them a run up at their place."
Evart won 53-32 over Roscommon on Friday.
"The girls did a good job in the first quarter, scoring 18 with only three turnovers," Tiedt said. "We had a flat second quarter, scoring eight points with eight turnovers. We had a good third quarter. We need to figure out how to play four good quarters. Kelci Elder should be back Tuesday and that will give us a boost as well."