Pine River junior continues to be valuable contributor for girls team

LEROY — Cheyanna Rizor continues to play a key role for this season’s Pine River girls basketball team.

“We’ve been playing really well as a team,” Rizor, a junior, said. “We talk really good on defense. Helpside is a big deal.”

Practices started in November and it was no secret that this would be a young Bucks team with several key players graduating from last season.

“When we started, we didn’t know everybody because this was our first year playing together,” Rizor said. “We’ve improved. Now, we can read each other’s mind almost.”

Rizor was scoring her fair share of points early in the season. And while she hasn’t been hitting high totals every game, she continues to give her team key contributions.

“I’ve improved. I just need to work on my layups during a game,” she said. “I get too nervous. I haven’t been shooting too well lately.”

That’s an area of her game on which Rizor will continue to focus. Defense has been the strongest part of her game.

“I’m reading where the other team is going to pass it and go steal the ball,” she said.

The team has a lot of offensive potential, Rizor indicated.

“Just keep shooting no matter what and they’ll eventually fall,” she said. “We can still improve on probably offense, cut toward the ball, driving and dishing.”

Against strong Highland teams like Beal City and McBain in upcoming games, “we have to be aggressive toward defense and get as many steals as we can,” Rizor said.