Pine River rolls past Lake City NMC 53-28

LEROY — Pine River’s girls basketball team has a key Highland Conference test at Beal City on Thursday. Next Tuesday, the Bucks are at Evart.

Meanwhile, Pine River picked up a lopsided 47-19 win over Lake City on Friday night.

The Bucks were led by Kassy Nelson who put up 23 points, five rebounds and five steals in the win. Keirra Justin had eight points and five boards while Julie Justin had five points, five rebounds and four assists. Michelle Kelsey added on five points, four rebounds and three assists.

The Bucks improved to 6-2 overall and 4-1 in the Highland Conference.

Also, Pine River’s defense was too much for McBain Northern Christian to overcome in a 53-28 Highland Conference girls basketball victory for the Bucks on Jan. 7.

Nelson scored 20 points, while Justin added 11 and Kelsey had 10 points for the Bucks, who improved to 3-1 in the Highland and 5-2 overall.

The Bucks held the Comets to three field goals in the first 16 minutes in building a 29-7 halftime lead.

Nelson had a drive for two points at 2:34 of the first period and an 8-4 lead. It was 11-6 going into the second. Nelson hit a triple and was 6-of-6 in free throws in the second quarter while Justin added six points. Meanwhile, the Comets were limited to a free throw in the second quarter by Sydney Dick for the 22-point Pine River lead at the intermission.

Nelson netted two 3-pointers early in the third for a 35-9 Pine River advantage. It was 39-14 going into the fourth, Michelle Kelsey hit two baskets early in the fourth for a 43-20 Pine River lead. Paige VanHulst had a layup at 2:10 for a 52-21 Bucks advantage.

“The first group played well,” said Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert. “We didn’t play well in the fourth quarter. We got sloppy.”

Nelson also had eight rebounds and four steals for the Bucks while Kelsey contributed five steals and Justin had five assists, five rebounds and four steals.

“I liked the way we pushed the ball up the court,” Ruppert said. “Our defense was good in the first half. For most of the game, our defense did a good job.”

Adriana Sigafoose scored nine points for the Comets.

McBain NMC is 2-2 in the league and 3-2 overall.

“We scored over 50 points, thats good for us,” Ruppert said. “Our offense (had been) struggling a little bit and not moving without the ball.”

Herald-Review Sports Writer Daine Pavloski contributed to this report.