Pine River basketball players earn all-conference honors

LEROY  — Five Pine River players have received all-conference status from the Highland for the 2013-14 boys basketball season.

Seniors Brandon Hoaglund and Skyler Nelson and juniors Mitchell McDonald and Lucas Harris were on the first team while senior Schroeder Vanderhoof earned honorable mention status.

Nelson was the leading scorer with 15.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and two steals and two assists per game, and led in block shots with 28 total.

“Skyler became the leader we expected he would, not just in scoring, but every day in practice,”’ said Pine River coach  Brian Goodenow. “He’s what you’d expect a senior to be. He’s always encouraging the younger players and helping them to be better. He had a great senior season for us.”

Hoaglund averaged 13 points and six rebounds per game.

“He’s one of the kids I’m most proud of,” Goodenow said. “He’s always been a determined hard worker.  He committed himself to becoming an excellent varsity player. To have six rebounds a game, he was one of the shortest guys on the floor. He had great leaping ability and timing. He was a great leader for the team as well.”

McDonald averaged 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and 6.5 assists per game.

“In my opinion, Mitchell is one of the best overall players in our entire area,” Goodenow said. “He always makes things happen. He has great timing and court awareness. He’s magic with the basketball. Too many times, we see him in a situation where he looks like he’s trapped. He keeps his dribble and has done a great job of making everyone around him better.”

Harris was at 11.0 points and 7.5 rebounds and two steals per game.

“He really matured as a varsity player,” Goodenow said.  “He played against some big guys and he really came on.”

Vanderhoof averaged four points and three rebounds per game.

“He was fearless against bigger opponents,” Goodenow said.

The Bucks lost to Beaverton in the district finals and ended at 19-3.

“Our No. 1 goal was to win the Highland Conference and we did that at 14-0, which is tough to do in our league,” Goodenow said.

Juniors like McDonald and Harris return and the Bucks have players coming up from a 15-5 JV team.