LEROY — Lucas Harris saw some valuable playing time with the Pine River Bucks as a sophomore when his team won conference and district titles.

This season as a junior, Harris has played an important role for the Bucks, who are off to a 4-0 start.

The Bucks entered the holiday break at 3-0 and had a scrimmage on New Year’s Eve against Reed City and Maple City Glen Lake. That came prior to a win Friday over Highland Conference rival McBain.

“We were just getting tuned up for Friday and getting back in shape,” Harris said. “It’s been a long break. We want to make sure that happens. This helps. We’ve been practicing hard. We should be ready.”

Harris is looking at his role this season to be more of a leader compared to his junior season.

“Just bringing energy, both on defense and offense, and rebounds,” Harris said. “I feel I improved a lot over the summer, working out and feeling more confident in ourselves.”

The Bucks entered the season realizing they would have to compensate for some height disadvantages from last year.

“We’re doing good. We’re running the ball. We’re pretty fast and we’re all really athletic,” he said. “I just need to hustle down the floor and keep shooting.”

The team simply needs to “work on (pressuring) the ball,” Harris said. “That’s our goal and our mission this year.”

The Bucks are making a bid to repeat as Highland Conference champions.

“There’s a lot of good teams in our conference this year,” Harris said.