Pine River junior enjoys strong first season

LEROY — Tristen Nelson is among the returning Pine River basketball players giving the Bucks intriguing potential for the future.

The Bucks (12-9) recently closed out their season, falling in the Class C district semifinals.

“We had a good team win and kept in it, stayed positive and nailed our free throws at the end,” Nelson said after a late-season victory over Evart.

He had his season high of 15 points in that game.

The key was “making my free throws, I had quite a few for that,” Nelson said. “I was driving to the hole and being aggressive.”

Nelson, a junior, was in his first varsity season.

“I was out in the beginning of my season with my knees (from a football injury), but then I came back,” he said. “But I came back the fourth or fifth game and it started going good.”

Nelson’s role on the court was “controlling the ball, calling plays, playing hard defense,” he said.

The Bucks had a strong final week of the regular season, but had the challenging task of playing state power McBain in the first game.

“We are playing our best ball right now,” he said, prior to the McBain contest, adding beating a team of that caliber would take “no turnovers.”