EVART — It’s been a season of impressive improvement for the Evart Wildcats, and junior Mara VanOrder is hoping it only gets better in the final days of the season.

“Their defense stopped us from driving the ball,” VanOrder said after one recent loss in which her team struggled on offense. “It was not our night. Our shots didn’t fall. I thought our effort was there. They stopped our driving and that’s our key thing.”

The Wildcats have hit the five-win mark after going through a winless record last year.

“We’ve shown a lot of intensity throughout the season,” VanOrder said. “We’ve put up a fight against every conference team.”

VanOrder has been holding her own effectively as a post player. 

“I’ve learned a lot this season,” she said. “I’ve learned how to control my game. That’s brought a lot of improvement.”

VanOrder has has had several games in double-digit rebounding.

“I practice on my timing and also my jumping,” she said. “I’ve been working at getting my jump higher. That could be key, too.”

The Wildcats have been struggling at times to score.

“We’ve been hitting our free throws and driving strong on layups,” VanOrder said. “It should create more scoring for sure.”

In the final weeks of the regular season, VanOrder was looking at helping the Wildcats pick up more conference win and contend for a district title.

“The key for that is having everyone on the same page and coming together,” she said.