Pine River girls post two more wins

LEROY — Pine River was led by Kassy Nelson’s 28 points in Friday’s 57-25 Highland Conference win over Marion.

Lilly Swiler had eight points for Marion.

Meanwhile, Pine River was anxious to bounce back from its first Highland Conference loss of the girls basketball season last week.

The Bucks did just that with a 61-25 league win over McBain Northern Michigan Christian on Feb. 10.

The Bucks, who lost to McBain the previous week, are 10-1 in the Highland and 12-3 overall.

Pine River played good pesky defense in the first half and survived a struggling shooting clip for a 26-8 halftime lead. Nelson had eight of the Bucks’ first 10 points for a 10-2 first-quarter lead. The Comets didn’t score until late in the quarter.

Both teams continued to struggle with their shooting in the second quarter, although Pine River still scored 16 points including four apiece from Nelson on four free throws, and Cheyanna Rizor and Kierra Justin with two field goals apiece.

The lead was 26-8 at halftime.

“We definitely missed a lot of puppies early on,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “They were right there. They were just rolling around.”

Anna Lindquist had a putback with 6:24 left in the third for a 29-8 Pine River lead. The Comets continued to struggle offensively and scored with 3:59 for their first points of the quarter. Dana Hill scored for the Bucks at 2:05 for a 41-11 lead. It was 45-14 going into the fourth quarter. Justin had seven points in the quarter.

The Comets fall to 5-3 in the league and 10-3 overall.

Two Julie Justin free throws gave her team a 50-16 lead at 6:04. Hill scored with 2:55 to play for a commanding 57-19 lead.

Kierra Justin had 13 points and 18 rebounds.

“I thought Kierra really picked it up in the second half,” Ruppert said. “I thought our defense was good all night. I thought we rotated well.”

Nelson, averaging more than 20 points per game, finished with 12 points, while Rizor and Julie Justin had eight apiece.

“They did a good job on Kassy with a box-and-one,” Ruppert said. “What I was happy with is she only scored 12 points and we still scored 61. That was with subs during the fourth quarter. I was really happy the other girls stepped up.”

Sydney Dick had 10 points for the Comets.

“(The ball) didn’t want to go in,” Comet coach Casey Sigafoose said.. “You may want to give Pine River credit on that. We were rushing our shots and not doing what we normally do out there.”

The Bucks play at home Thursday night against Lake City and Saturday against Elk Rapids.