Pine River senior confident team will play best basketball at right time

LEROY — Pine River is hosting the boys basketball district this week and the Bucks are hoping to be playing their best at the right time.

Senior Tyler Wing has seen some good things for his team in recent games including a recent win over Evart at home.

“Defense was the big motivation for us there,” he said after that victory. “We needed to pick up our defense to get back in the ballgame.”

The Bucks were just above the .500 mark at one stage of the season.

“We’re getting there,” Wing said. “I can see it slowly getting better. At practice we’re getting a little more intensity. We’re getting a little chippy, which is OK at times. We’re starting to push the ball, which is what we used to do when we were younger. We have to get back to that.”

Defense is critical, he added.

“Defense has to be our anchor in the beginning,” he said. “Defense creates offense. If we stop them in the beginning and come out strong with offense, then we get back up on them early.”

Wing had 13 points against Evart, but was the third leading scorer in a game when his team’s offense was clicking.

“This was our best offensive effort,” he said. “We’re starting to understand we can push the ball and be aggressive with it and get people in double figures.”

The Bucks, who last week beat the Wildcats in a rematch at Evart, hope to be playing their best at district time.

“We need to finish at the rim and create better shots for our teammates,” he said.

Pine River has a district semifinal game at home Wednesday against McBain.