Pine River boys cruise past Marion

LEROY — Pine River wasted little time in disposing of Marion Friday night in a 78-32 Highland Conference boys basketball victory.

The Bucks fired out to an early leads of 11-0 and were well ahead 44-14 at halftime.

“We wanted to stay sharp and keep working on the things we know will give us the best chance to win a championship,” Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said. “It’s about being efficient on offense and playing really good defense.”

Mason Powell scored the first six points of the game and Lucas Harris followed with five in-a-row.

Harris and Brandon Fulks both hit triples in the first quarter, which ended on a 21-6 Pine River lead.

The Bucks’ second unit kept the pressure going in the second quarter with Alex Knapp and Tyler Wing hitting key baskets off several steals.

“We’re firing on all cylinders right now,” Wing said. “We still have things to improve on. We have to limit the offensive rebounds (the opponent) gets. We have to play more intensified defense.”

When the starting lineup returned, Pine River was up 33-6 with 3:26 left in the first half. Fulks and Mitch McDonald connected late in the quarter to pace the Bucks to their 30-point lead.

Greg Park and McDonald scored quick baskets to open the second half for the Bucks. Harris followed with two straight for a 54-16 lead with 5:08 left in the third.

Wing scored late in the quarter for a 61-28 Bucks lead. It was 65-28 after three periods. Conner Hoaglund’s layup gave the Bucks a 67-28 lead at 5:48.

“I think we were sharp on offense and didn’t get sloppy,” Goodenow said. “Our defense has been outstanding for the last couple weeks. Brandon Fulks leads that. If he’s not the best defender in the Highland Conference, he’s right there”

Pine River improved to 14-3 overall and 8-3 in the league for third place. Marion fell to 1-13 and 0-10.

Harris led the Bucks with 19 points, while McDonald and Wing added 12 apiece.

Tyler Johnson led Marion with eight points.

Pine River is at Lake City Thursday.

“We’re still playing for a lot of pride in the conference,” Goodenow said. “That’s all we have left is conference games. We have a tough one Thursday at Lake City. They’re a real challenge for us. They have a significant size advantage. It gives a chance to work hard on rebounding which will be key come district time.”