Lake City slips past Evart again

EVART — Lake City used a 9-0 run to open the third quarter to post a 63-58 Highland Conference boys basketball victory over Evart on Thursday

Evart’s Noah Drake netted a 3-pointer in the first quarter, which ended in a 14-14 tie.

Lake City continued to hurt the Wildcats on the boards in the second quarter and also had a pair of 3-pointers from Justin Balcer and Lucas Marion. Robbie Tapling kept the Wildcats in the game with a pair of field goals. But it was 30-24, Lake City, at halftime.

The Trojans had a 9-0 run to open the third quarter with Cade Peterson fueling the attack on a 3-point play. Jake Anderson’s 3-point shot gave the Trojans a 42-26 lead at 4:40 of the third.

“We talked about their nine-point run after the third, and combine that with the end of the (first) half, it’s a 15-point swing right there,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “When you only lose by five, that’s a huge moment.”

Layne Nadig netted a 3-pointer for Evart, which trailed 46-31 with 2:30 left in the third. The Wildcats put on a 6-2 run to end the third quarter, trailing 48-37. Peterson scored for a 55-45 lead with five minutes to play.

Evart’s Danny Griffin hit two jumpers to open the fourth, cutting the gap to seven points. His 3-pointer at 3:15 of the third cut it to 55-50. Andrew Fechter followed with a 3-pointer for Lake City. Andrew Bengry’s driving layup cut it to 59-52 at 1:04. The Trojans put the game away at the free-throw line.

“Rebounding, always,” Morgan said. “Marion’s a beast down there. It takes a combined team effort, getting guys going in there rebounding, to match up against him.”

“We didn’t take care of the ball,” Griffin said. “We have to do a better job of that. We have to practice harder.”

Griffin scored 18 points while Drake and Tapling had 10 apiece. Peterson scored 20 for Lake City.

Lake City (11-5, 7-5), defeated Evart (5-13, 2-10) 64-59 earlier this season.

“It was the second time we lost to Lake City by five,” Morgan said. “These guys are third place in the conference. Our free throws, we struggled on tonight. The first half, we were 1-for-6.”

This is the final week of the regular season. The Wildcats are home Thursday against Pine River. They were scheduled to play at Marion Tuesday. The districts are at Pine River next week and the Wildcats play Manton on March 9.