Pine River’s boys season ends in regional semifinals

MORLEY — The Pine River Bucks fell to the Beaverton Beavers 53-37 in Class C regional semifinal action Monday at Morley Stanwood High School.

The Bucks finish the season with a 14-9 record and a district championship.

Mason Powell led the team with 17 points and Tristen Nelson scored seven, while Hunter Esiline added six.

“We played against some good kids and one of the best coaches in MHSAA history,” Powell said. “They get in your head a little bit, but we knew what we had to do.”

Brandon Evans led Beaverton with 23 points. Powell was tasked with guarding star player Nick Johnston. Johnston, who had 23 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists in the Beavers’ district title game, was held to 15 points on Monday, most of which came from the free throw line.

“They’re such a good program,” Bucks coach Brian Goodenow said. “Coach Roy (Johnston) is always going to have more than one guy ready to make plays. The biggest surprise to me was how poorly we shot the ball.

“I was disappointed with that, but that’s why it’s an imperfect game.”

The game was contested early, with both teams trading baskets. The Bucks trailed 12-8 after one quarter of play.

Pine River started the second quarter strong. Trenton Holmes scored while being fouled and knocked down the free throw to pull the Bucks within one point (14-13).

Beaverton responded with a 7-0 run to lead 21-13, but Pine River closed the half with five straight points to trail 21-18 at halftime.

"I felt like we had withstood adversity,” Goodenow said. “We hadn’t played very well and we were still only down three. If we played the way we were capable of, we could take control of the game.”

The Bucks struck first in the second half with a Nelson 3-pointer to tie the game at 21 in the opening minutes. It was all Beaverton after that.

Evans scored 10 of his 23 points in the third quarter as the Beavers began to pull away. Beaverton’s defense limited Pine River to five third quarter points as the Beavers took a 33-23 lead into the fourth.

Beaverton began to build on its lead in the third by getting to the free throw line. The Beavers were 16-of-26 from the line, most of which came in the fourth when Pine River was forced to foul.