Senior Pine River player giving Bucks key defensive efforts


LEROY — Brandon Hoaglund realizes Pine River graduated some good talent from last season’s boys basketball team, but he’s high on the prospects with the Bucks for the current season.

Pine River has started off 3-0. Hoaglund is in his second season with the varsity. He was on the conference and district championship winning teams from last season, and was a starter.

His role was being a defensive player and shutting down the best scorer on the other side. That’s basically his role again this season along with doing some more scoring. He figures he’s a capable scorer from pretty much anywhere on the court.

“I’m playing pretty well,” he said. “I have to work on shooting, but that will come.”

Quickness has been a strength for Hoaglund.

The Bucks graduated some height from last season but are still off to an undefeated start. Hoaglund pointed to the Manton game as perhaps Pine River’s best performance so far.

“We pushed the ball really well and we shot really,” he said. “We’re small, but we’re fast.”

The season resumes Jan. 3 when the Bucks are home against Highland Conference rival McBain. They have a home scrimmage on New Year’s Eve.

When the Bucks play tough Highland teams, the key to having success will be “pushing the ball and playing at our pace,” Hoaglund said. “We know each other pretty well.”

The Bucks continue to maintain goals of winning conference and district titles.

“We have to keep improving,” he said. “Most of these guys have been playing since we were really young.”