Pine River sophomore guard comfortable in duties on basketball team


REED CITY ― Julie Justin stood the test of varsity action as a freshman and is now poised to have an even better sophomore year.

“I think I learned a lot from being a freshman,” Justin said. “I think we had a pretty good season last year. I was very nervous at the beginning of the season. But at the end of the season, I felt more comfortable. I knew my girls better.”

She spent time on basketball during the offseason. She came into this season more comfortable. But she acknowledged her role has varied somewhat.

“It’s changed,” Justin said. “I think I have to step it up a little more. We’re a pretty young team.”

She said she sees action at both wing and point guard. The wing may be her strongest position, Justin indicated. She wants to work on both her shooting and ballhandling. She’s hoping to prove to be an effective shooter from anywhere on the floor.

“Defense, and in all areas I’ll try to get better,” she said.

The Bucks started out 1-1 with a win at Reed City and loss at Morley Stanwood. “Things are looking pretty good for how young we are,” Justin said. “We can still improve quite a bit.”

Kassy Nelson has been leading the Bucks in points but Justin is confident there’s other talent on the team to take the pressure off Nelson.

“We’re still trying to get that chemistry,” she said, adding that the key to having success in each game will be “playing together and defense and running the floor and resulting) in fast breaks.”

The Bucks have a key Highland Conference home game Friday with McBain.