Pine River overpowers Lake City

LEROY — Mason Powell scored 14 points while Tristen Nelson scored 13 points and Hunter Esiline added 12 in Pine River’s Highland Conference win on Thursday 59-35.

Pine River (4-3, 3-2) fired out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before Lake City (3-5, 2-3) got on the board. Bradley Holmes and Powell scored six points apiece in a first quarter that ended with a 18-9 Bucks lead.

The Trojans made their move early in the second quarter but Esiline scored for a 25-15 lead. Powell had a drive late in the quarter for a 34-18 halftime lead.

“The last couple of games we’ve gotten off to a good start but have let the other team come back,” Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said. “This time, they made a run on us but we got back on defense. I thought it was a complete game for us. It was definitely our best team win of the year.”

Powell’s free throws midway in the quarter gave the Bucks a 40-20 lead.

Esiline scored two straight late in the quarter for a 48-24 advantage. In the final 15 seconds, Powell scored twice off steals for a 54-26 lead.

“Lake City lost some kids who moved out of the district and could have been starters and lost some others who decided not to play,” Goodenow said. “Their coach is making strides with them.”

Pine River has been struggling, like other teams, to have a normal game and schedule, thanks mainly to the weather.

“It’s tough to get into any type of continuity,” Goodenow said. “You just do the best you can.”

The Bucks are at Evart on Friday.