LEROY — Julie Justin had 15 points, five assists and five steals as  Pine River defeated McBain at home on Thursday 46-35 in Highland Conference girls basketball action.

Logan Powell added seven points and eight rebounds to pace a balanced Bucks attack that had six players score six or more points.

The win moved the Bucks (14-2, 9-2) into a tie with the Ramblers and Manton for first place in the Highland Conference standings.

“It was a physical game, which it usually is when we play McBain,” Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. “I thought our defense was really strong. We rebounded well. Kierra (Justin) got injured and only played a little over a quarter of the game. I was happy with our bench and how they filled in.

“Alexis Bennett played a lot of minutes and did a really nice job. Julie and Logan played a nice third quarter for us. We were able to stretch the lead out.”

Manton and McBain still play each other and one of those teams will have three losses. Pine River has Marion, Lake City and McBain NMC left in league play.

“If we play like we did Thursday night, we’ll be fine,” Ruppert said. “We wanted it and played better than we did against Manton the Friday before.”

Pine River is at McBain NMC on Friday.