See why Evart boys basketball coach Kris Morgan likes his team's title chances

Plenty of talent returns for Wildcats

Evart coach Kris Morgan watches his team during a summer camp session.

Evart coach Kris Morgan watches his team during a summer camp session.

File

EVART – Evart veteran boys basketball coach Kris Morgan feels he has a team which can be hugely improved in the wins column.

The Wildcats are coming off a 5-15 season.

“We were very close last season, but struggled to get over the hump,” he said. “We made some strides and worked hard, but in the end, we weren’t successful with our goals we set out before the season. We beat McBain twice last year, and I am proud of that. We grinded all season to finish 5-15. 

“(Graduated player) Bryant Calderon-Bryant was counted on last year to play stellar defense and knock down shots, which he did every night. Cannan Morgan anchored the inside of our team last season. Cannan was counted on to rebound and score down low.” 

Morgan is looking for several key players to spark the Wildcats including senior guards Marcel White, Jake Ladd and Jordin Albright; senior forward Camden Darling, junior guards Jakobe White and JJ Creedon; sophomore forward Acy Morgan, and sophomore guards Lucas Johnson and Noah Vanderlande and freshman guard Aidan Anderson.

“Marcel has lightning quickness and good instincts,” Morgan said. “He will be counted on for his leadership, scoring and defense. Toughness and rebounding are two of Jake's biggest assets he brings to the team. He plays with heart, energy and hustle. Kamden is finally healthy after dealing with knee injuries the past few years. His athletic ability will be greatly counted on this year.

“Jordin has put in a lot of work in the gym and it is paying off. He will be counted on to lead, shoot and play a lot of minutes. Dafoe will be one of the fastest players in Highland this year. He will be counted on to score, defend, and lead. JJ will be needed to play tough defense and hit key shots for us this year.”

The Wildcats will not be too tall of a team.

“On a team lacking height, Caen will be much needed this year,” Kris Morgan said. “He will provide an inside out presence that will be extremely needed on both sides of the court. Noah will be counted on to bring his energy and athletic ability to the court every night. Lucas' length and toughness will make him an elite defender for us. He is improving every practice and that will pay off in the end.

“Aidan is a very skilled player. He must continue to work to get stronger, but will be counted on to play a lot of minutes for us this year. His shooting and decision making will be greatly counted on.”

Evart is home on Tuesday against Reed City to open the season and will open Highland Conference League play on Friday against visiting Lake City.

“We have a lot of key guys coming back to us this season and we are healthy,” Morgan said. We will work to get better every day and be playing our best ball in March. We expect to compete for the Highland Conference title and win districts.

“Our guard play will be a strength along with our overall team speed. With our limited size, we have to work on boxing out and team rebounding.”