Pine River faces McBain in Wednesday district game

LEROY — Pine River ended its regular season at 17-3 last week with Mitchell McDonald hitting a special plateau.

But this week, the Bucks hope to pick up two challenging wins in its quest for a Class C district title.

Pine River is at the Class C district in McBain and plays the host school 6 p.m. on Wednesday in a semifinal game. The finals is 7 p.m. Friday.

McDonald scored 24 points Thursday in the regular-season finale, a 66-47 Highland Conference win over Beal City. By virtue of the performance, he passed the 1,000-point career mark.

“It was a great night for our seniors, being our last home game,” Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said. “All of them contributed a lot, especially Mitchell McDonald. (The 1,000 points) was a great accomplishment in four years on the varsity.”

Lucas Harris added nine points for Pine River, which the day earlier defeated Evart 85-62.

Pine River split with McBain during the regular season.

“I think it’s the defensive intensity our guards can bring,” Goodenow replied when asked to mention the key factors of this game. “If we’re able to disrupt the things they want to do on offense through our guard pressure, that would be very advantageous to us.”

Goodenow doesn’t think it matters playing his team’s arch-rival right off the bat.

“I kind of like it,” he said. “I was happy when I saw the draw. You play a good team sooner or later. I like playing someone like that early. We’re playing well right now. We’ve been on a roll. We’re going at them with good positive momentum I feel.”

McBain beat Evart 73-40 at Evart last Thursday in the regular-season finale for both teams.

“The first quarter was close 8-8,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said. “Then McBain went on a run and we got down by 10 going into the seciond. By halftime, they were up by 18. It got ugly after that.”

Nolan VanOrder had 12 points for Evart.