LEROY — Pine River improved to 10-1 with a 62-48 Highland Conference boys basketball victory over Manton Tuesday night (Jan. 29)

The Bucks were in control most of the way, leading 20-14 after the first quarter, 32-23 at halftime and 43-34 after the third quarter.

The Bucks had a 19-14 scoring edge in the final quarter.

Mitchell McDonald had a strong night with 16 points and six rebounds for the winners. Joey Bowman added 11 points while Lucas Harris had eight points and Lincoln Erickson contributed seven points and five rebounds.

“We had some nice balanced scoring (Tuesday),” said Pine River coach Brian Goodenow.

Devin Ruppert had six rebounds and three assists. Brandon Hoaglund also had three assists.

“It one of those slugfests, a very physical game,” Goodenow said. ”A lot of fouls were called. There were 46 fouls called in the game. It was one of those grinders. It wasn’t pretty to watch but we were able to grind it out.”

Alex Howell led Manton with 11 points.

“Manton has struggled this year,” Goodenow said. “Their coach had a good game plan tonight. They slowed it down and that took us out of our tempo in the first half. We made some defensive adjustments in the second half that allowed us to get a few more turnovers.”

It was one of McDonald’s top games of the season.

“This was his return to our starting lineup,” Goodenow said. “He missed several practices due to some illnesses he’s battled. He’s still not back to 100 percent conditioning wise but he had a nice game for us all the way around.

“I’ll also call attention to Joe Bowman. He came off the bench and gave us a spark. He played good defense and had some steals. He’s a sparkplug for us and makes things happen.”

Friday, Pine River was home against conference rival McBain and lost 61-51. The Bucks defeated McBain on the road earlier this season.

McDonald and Erickson scored 12 points apiece for Pine River.