Pine River senior eyes successful basketball season for Bucks

LEROY —  Matthew Goodenow recalls playing with a special unit for a Pine River boys basketball squad that was 17-4 last season.

The nickname for the five-man lineup, consisting of players from off the bench, who would play for several minutes at a time, was the “Swarm” unit.

“It brought (high) energy,” Goodenow recalled. “We were out there to get tipped balls.”

This season, a similar type of unit is being utilized.

“It’s kind of off and on,” Goodenow said. “We don’t do it for a long time.”

He’s a senior for this team, and has usually been starting.

“I’ve been pretty much the three man,” he said. “Coach tells me to go in and crash the boards.”

Goodman’s role is to get rebounds and putbacks, similar to his role last season.

Pine River graduated several players from last season, but still has some returning talent. The Bucks are off to a 4-1 start.

“We’re playing pretty well,” Goodenow said. “There’s always stuff to improve on like defense and shooting. Free throws need to be worked on.”

As a player, “I can be pretty physical and play pretty good defense usually,” he said.

Pine River practiced extensively over the holiday break and was 1-1 last week.

“We’re focusing on fundamentals and making sure we stay keen on those,” Goodenow said. “We’re working on defense and shooting drills.”

Pine River expects to face stiff competition from league powers like McBain and Manton.

“We’ll need good defense and make sure their best players don’t have good games,” Goodenow said. “We can probably be conference champs if we can play to our full potential.”

Pine River is home with McBain on Thursday.