LEROY — Greg Park is ready to be a key force for the Pine River boys basketball team this season.

The Bucks senior is in his second full varsity season.

“I was sixth man most of the time,” he said. “Like our eighth game in, I was a starter for a few games. Once (another player) came back, I was back to sixth man. I saw a lot of minutes.”

He’s usually been starting at small forward or guard this season.

“Coach wants me to score a little more this year,” Park said. “I need to rebound, too.”

When it comes to shooting, Park considers himself able to effectively drive to the basket and hit jumpers.

“I’m definitely shooting a lot more than I did last year,” he said, adding that when it comes to rebounding, “I can box out the biggest guys I need to and I can jump over people.”

The team’s most recent game was a win over Chippewa Hills, perhaps the Bucks’ best effort so far.

“We kicked it into defense,” Park said. “We started out shaky but picked it up and played some good basketball.”

In the Highland Conference, “Beal (City) will obviously be tough,” Park said. “Manton will be pretty good and probably McBain.”

The key against tough opponents will be “who plays better defense and that should be us because we have a really good defensive team,” he said. “We normally don’t let people get second shots. We do really good at rebounding. We’re really good at upping pressure. We don’t like to let their guards have a lot of space.

“We’re definitely (smaller) this season ... and have to box out, crash the boards and not be watching.”