Pine River girls bid for district title

LEROY — Pine River’s girls basketball team will open Class C district play Wednesday at Manton against Evart.

The winner plays in Friday’s title game.

Pine River clinched a share of the Highland Conference title with a 48-38 win over Beal City on Friday.

Kassy Nelson led the Bucks with 24 points, while Julie Justin added 10 points.

“It was a struggle, not one of our better games,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “Anytime you go there, it’s a tough place to play. We got up by 15, but they did a good job coming back on us. We didn’t shoot well and we got into foul trouble off the bat.”

Jordan Schneider had a team-high 17 points for Beal City.

Pine River concluded the regular season at 17-3, 13-1 in the Highland Conference. The Bucks shared the title with McBain.

On Feb. 25, the Bucks were at Evart in regular-season action and won 61-20.

The Bucks were led by Nelson’s 19 points toadvance to 15-3.

Julie Justin scored 12 points and had nine assists and Kierra Justin scored 10 points and had eight rebounds for Pine River.

Ruppert acknowledged if Pine River defeats Evart, the Bucks could see McBain in the final. The two teams split during the regular season.

“We have to stay out of foul trouble,” Ruppert said. “We have to play better defense than the last time we played them.”

Pine River boys

LAKE CITY — Pine River’s boys team won 66-49 on Thursday at Lake City.

“It was a closer game than that,” Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said. “They always play us tough. It was an eight-point game early in the fourth until we pulled away.”

Lucas Harris had 27 points and 10 rebounds, while Mitchell McDonald had 17 points and 11 assists.

Pine River ends the regular season at home Thursday against Beal City. The Bucks are 15-3 overall and 9-3 in the Highland.

“I’m happy with a lot of things, particularly the way we’ve been rebounding,” Goodenow said, noting his team outrebounded Lake City 32-22.