Pine River boys remain undefeated in league race

McBAIN — The Pine River boys basketball team pushed its record to 12-1 with a 42-36 road victory over McBain on Thursday.

Brandon Hoaglund had 12 points and six rebounds while Skyler Nelson had 11 points, Mitchell McDonald recorded 10 points, six rebounds and four assists and Lucas Harris had seven points and nine rebounds for the Bucks (12-1, 9-0 Highland).

“It was quite a defensive battle,” said Pine River coach Brian Goodenow. “We struggled to make shots. It was 28 percent from the floor. Ironically, we were 41 percent outside the 3-point arc and only 20 percent inside the arc. A lot of credit goes to (McBain’s) defense too. That’s two very good defensive teams. I know they shot a poor percentage as well. To some degree, you write that off to the defense.”

It marked the second win this season for Pine River over McBain.

The Bucks are ranked eighth in Class C in the latest Associated Press statewide boys basketball poll. Pine River hosted McBain Northern Michigan Christian on Tuesday. Friday the Bucks are at Marion.

“We’ve been in a bit of a shooting slump lately,” Goodenow said. “We hope we can break out of that this week.”

Beal City is 8-1 in the league with its only loss being to Pine River. The Bucks end the regular season at Beal City Feb. 27.

“They’re playing very well right now,” he said. “We have to take care of business every night. Everybody is competitive with everybody. McBain played Marion the other night and it was only a four-point game at halftime. You have to approach every conference game like it’s your biggest game of the year.”