Pine River girls fall to McBain

LEROY — McBain’s 76-53 victory over Pine River Friday night in girls basketball action has put the Ramblers in excellent position for the Highland Conference title.

“We got behind early,” said Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert. “We didn’t come out ready to play. The second half, we beat them. But we just didn’t play well in the first half.”

In December at Pine River, the Bucks also got off to a slow start and, despite coming back, fell short to the Ramblers.

“The big difference this time was they were playing in front of 500 of their fans and we had about 20 people,” Ruppert said. “The varsity boys played that night and we didn’t have a good crowd. When we played them here, we had a bigger crowd than they did.

“We gave up over there I thought in the first half. We didn’t play very well.”

Kassy Nelson had 18 points and five rebounds.

“She had a good second half,” Ruppert said.

Michelle Kelsey had eight points and three steals. Julie Justin had seven points.

Meredith Hamlet led McBain with 28 points. “We let her get in the middle way too often,” Ruppert said. ‘We didn’t play good defense.”

Pine River is 9-3 overall and 6-2 in the conference. McBain is undefeated in the conference

The Bucks play home Friday against Manton. There are less than three weeks in the regular season. Ruppert said two non-league teams canceled on Pine River because of weather-related postponements and lack of open dates for rescheduling. Right now, the regular season schedule is set at 18 games.

“We’re looking for a game but haven’t found one yet,” Ruppert said.

Pine River cheer

Coach Tiffany Lindquist’s cheer team was in action on Saturday at Brethren.

“We did well. We had probably one of our best scores) in each round,” Lindquist said.

The Evart Invitational, snowed out on Jan. 29, is Feb.10 followed by a meet at Marion Feb. 12. Districts are Feb. 15.