Pine River junior looking to be productive scorer

LEROY — Julie Justin has been establishing herself as a key offensive weapon so far for the Pine River girls basketball team.

The Pine River junior scored 16 points for the Bucks in their 65-47 nonleague loss to Morley Stanwood on last week.

The previous week, the Bucks lost to Reed City in the season opener.

“We made some sloppy passes that allowed them to fast break,” Justin said after the Reed City game. “We played hard. I think we played good defense and rebounded really well.”

Pine River played against Beal City in the Highland Conference opener.

“We have to drive in the middle and dish when we can,” Justin said.

It’s her third varsity season but the first time Justin is playing without Kassy Nelson, the Bucks’ all-stater, who is now at Saginaw Valley State University.

“I have to look to score more without having Kassy,” Justin said. “I have to work on my shot.”

The Bucks were off to a 0-2 start, but Justin remains optimistic.

“I think we’re capable of a lot,” she said. “We have a lot of young girls.”

Pine River plays at Manton Friday night.