McBain too much for Cats

EVART— Both teams were opening their Highland Conference boys basketball schedules on Wednesday.

But McBain (3-0) showed why it’s among the favorites to win the Highland Conference this season with a 79-57 win over Evart (1-1).

“I thought we played well,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “I think we gave them the best game they’ve had so far this year.”

Cody Pritchard scored 13 points for the Wildcats, but the Ramblers proved to have too much firepower.

“I thought we played well,” Evart sophomore Carter Pritchard said. “We rebounded well, for the most part, against a tall team. We played close and tight every quarter. Mistakes hurt us.”

Evart trailed 20-14 after the first quarter and 20-17 early in the second.

Nicolas Rodenbaugh had a reverse side layup for a 32-20 lead and McBain went onto a 43-27 advantage at halftime.

Evart’s top player, Danny Griffin, sustained an injury late in the second quarter and left the game.

“I think it’s a charley horse,” Morgan said. “He went to take a cut and took a knee in the upper thigh.”

He returned for 30 seconds in the third quarter but then sat out the rest of the game. 

“Other people from the bench stepped up nice for us when our leading person went down,” Pritchard said.

Layne Nadig had a fast-break layup late in the third quarter, but McBain was up 55-36.

Karsten Allen hit off the glass for Evart to cut the McBain lead to 63-39 early in the fourth. Cody Pritchard drove for a basket at 4:20, making it 69-46

“Without our leading scorer in the second half and playing like we did, I thought we showed a lot of heart and toughness,” Morgan said.

Jericho VanScoyoc and Cameron Martin scored 10 points apiece for Evart.

Evart was set to play last Friday at McBain Northern Michigan Christian. The game was postponed because of snow.

“They’re not very deep,” Morgan said. “If Danny’s not able to play, we have to make sure we pick up some extra points. Someone has to step up.”

Evart is at Beal City on Jan. 5.