McDonald reflects on basketball season

LEROY — Mitch McDonald is preparing for the spring baseball season with the rest of his Pine River teammates.

But it was just a few weeks ago McDonald was completing a unique four-year career in varsity basketball.

The Bucks finished at 17-4 after falling to McBain in the district semifinals.

“It was a great season and a great career,” McDonald said. “Coach (Brian) Goodenow is a great coach. I loved playing for him. We would have liked to make a run. McBain went to the quarterfinals. They were a tough team. We need to catch them on a bad night to get them.”

McDonald scored 30 points in a Pine River victory against the Ramblers, which handed McBain its only Highland Conference loss. But in the districts, McBain shadowed McDonald with a box-and-one and later included his teammate, Lucas Harris, in a triangle-and-two.

“I knew they were going to do something to me,” McDonald said. “The box-and-one was effective for them. My teammates were hitting their shots. They stepped up and played really good. The one thing that affected us is they 100 percent killed us on the boards. We should have played better defense.

“McBain was phenomenal. They don’t have a guy under 6-0 in their starting five. When you combine height with the desire to get the ball, they have an advantage.”

McDonald said it’s tough to compare his four seasons with each other.

“I think my sophomore season was probably the best year I was a part of,” he said. “We won the district. Last year was fun. I had a couple of my best friends playing too. This year was fun because I was a leader. It was fun watching the younger guys grow. I can’t wait to come watch them next year.”

He’s a three-sport athlete, but McDonald pointed to basketball as his best sport. “I’ll miss my teammate and my coach,” he said. “They’ve made the experience here phenomenal.”

McDonald said he’d like to keep playing and does have some colleges looking at him for basketball.

“I’d like to pursue something in business or be a teacher,” he said. “It’d be awesome if I could coach. I don’t know yet. It’s up in the air.”