Pine River girls drop first league game

LEROY — Pine River’s perfect mark in the Highland Conference for girls basketball ended on Thursday with a 74-64 loss to McBain.

Kassy Nelson led Pine River with 23 points while Julie Justin added 13 points and Anna Lindquist added 12. Nelson, Justin and Cheyanna Rizor all fouled out.

“I had to sit Kassy and Chey during the game because they got into foul trouble right off the bat,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “We were kind of in a hole that way. Kassy got her second foul in the first quarter so I had to sit her.”

McBain led most of the game.

“We were down by six with about a minute left,” Ruppert said. “They made a over-and-back call that really hurt us. It wasn’t over-and-back. A couple of the refs knew it wasn’t the right call. The other ref insisted that it was. It went against us. We ended up fouling at the end.

“I was happy with how we played the game with the foul trouble we had. Playing in McBain, that’s a tough place to play. I knew if we weren’t at full strength the whole game, they could beat us. And they played a good game. They shot really well from the 3-point line.”

The Bucks are 8-1 in the conference and 11-3 overall. They are now tied with McBain for first place. Pine River is at Marion Friday

Pine River won 64-40 over Boyne City 40 on Feb. 3, Nelson paced the Bucks with 17 points.