Pine River overwhelms Brethren

LEROY — It’s never easy for a boys basketball team to play a game Friday night, followed by one on Saturday afternoon.

That was Pine River’s test on Saturday in a makeup game with Brethren.

After a slow start, the Bucks built a 31-19 halftime lead and soared to a 63-32 non-league victory over the Bobcats.

Pine River had beaten Lake City on Friday. Brethren had played on Thursday.

Brandon Hoaglund netted 17 points while Skyler Nelson had the shooting touch in this game with 15 points on five 3-pointers. Lucas Harris added 14 points.

Nelson had a triple in the first quarter while Lucas Harris sparked the Bucks with three field goals for a 14-10 lead going into the second frame.

Brethren made it tight in the second quarter before Brandon Hoaglund’s triple and three treys from Nelson helped the Bucks extend their lead.

“I told the kids this is a classic trap game,” said Pine River coach Brian Goodenow. “Coming off a conference win, on the road, a spirited game, a tough victory, to a team not in your conference and you don’t see very often and on a Saturday. We told them to come in with the same intensity and focus we use for conference games.”

Greg Park scored off a steal early in the second half for a 35-19 lead as the Bucks were in command.

“They took that run late in the second quarter and had us up in the first half,” said Brethren coach Jennifer Wojciechowski. “Usually in the second half is when my boys really get after it and play basketball. We came out flat. We’re missing two point guards out for the season with knee injuries. We cannot handle the ball.”

Mitchell McDonald had a strong floor game and two free throws with 4:10 to play for a 58-30 lead.

“I don’t know if the guys were necessarily tired as much as it was out of sorts, with all those things we don’t normally experience.” Goodenow said. “I think it took them a little while to adjust and get into the flow.”

Hoaglund had five rebounds and Park four for the Bucks who also got eight assists from McDonald and four from Hoaglund, five steals from McDonald and four from Hoaglund and three blocks from Harris.

“Last couple of games, we start really slow in the first quarter, McDonald said. “It seems like we pick it up in the second, third and fourth. We have to break that habit of starting out slow.”

Brethren falls to 5-3. Josh Riggs led the Bobcats with eight points

“We just did not come out with enthusiasm or excitement and the will to work hard,” Wojciechowski said. ‘I was very disappointed with my boys.”

Pine River was 8-0 with the win before falling to Scottville-Mason County Central Monday night.

“That’s a tough one, they’re a really good team,” Goodenow said prior to the game. “That’s one more good tough team to battle before we have a conference showdown Thursday with Beal City.”

MCC 60, Pine River 52

SCOTTVILLE — The Pine River boys basketball team suffered its first loss of the season Monday by dropping a 60-52 contest to Mason County Central in non conference action.

MCC led the Bucks (8-1, 6-0 Highland) 31-25 at the half and outscored Pine River by just two points the rest of the way, but the early deficit was too much for the Bucks to overcome.

Brandon Hoaglund led the Bucks with 19 points while Lucas Harris piled up 15 points, 13 rebounds and four assists and Mitchell McDonald tallied nine points, seven rebounds, and six steals and assists apiece.

Pine River returns to action Thursday when it hosts Beal City in Highland Conference play.

Pioneer sports writer Greg Buckner also contributed to this report.