EVART — The Pine River Bucks (6-3, 4-2) held back Evart (3-5, 2-4) 61-59 in Highland Conference boys basketball action on Friday.

Evart was up 18-14 after the first quarter and it was tied 29-all at halftime. Pine River led 47-46 after the third quarter.

Hunter Esiline had 23 points and seven rebounds while Mason Powell had 16 points, seven boards and five assists for Evart.

“It was a great high school basketball game,” Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said. “It was a great atmosphere. They had a huge crowd for their Snowcoming. There was great energy in the gym, and they rode on that energy. They were making everything in the first half. It was fairly low scoring but they were shooting a high percentage.”

Danny Griffin scored 21 points for Evart. Carter Pritchard had 16 points.

“My guys hung in and kept it close,” Goodenow said. “It was really a tight game all the way through. It came down to the last couple of possessions. Tristen Nelson hit a couple of key free throws in the last minute to give us the margin.”

On Thursday, Evart is home against Northern Michigan Christian while Pine River is home against Manton.

Evart 71, Lake City 47

EVART — Danny Griffin scored 24 points and had seven rebounds and four blocks in a Highland Conference win over Lake City on Jan. 24.

Evart had quarter leads of 14-9, 34-14 and 49-29.

Trevin Ladd had 11 points and four steals while Pritchard had seven rebounds and Layne Nadig had five steals.

“Layne played solid defense all night long as he always does,” Evart coach Kris Morgan said.

“At Crossroads the other night, we played the best we have all year. We just wanted to carry that over. Our defense has come a long ways.

“Offensively, they had no answer for Danny. They were running double teams on him all night long. We were able to distribute the ball.”