EVART ― Mara VanOrder is among the returning players for the Evart Wildcats hoping to make a difference during the 2014-15 season.

It’s her junior season and third on the varsity. She tried to do some work on her game during the offseason. In the fall, she ran cross country.

“We definitely focused on shooting and long-range shots and driving to the basket,” she said, adding that an emphasis in practices have been “fast breaks for sure, pushing the ball up the court.”

The Wildcats are hoping to improve on their shooting accuracy, especially with the high-percentage shots. Confidence is a key factor, VanOrder indicated.

“And just being sure that it’s a good open shot instead of a forced shot,” she said.

Rebounding will also be a key role for VanOrder.

“I have to get good position, box out and find my girl and prevent myself from fouling,” she said. “I’m fairly confident. I think I’ve had enough basketball experience where when a shot goes up, I know where I need to be. I’m a junior now. I think I’m the strongest I’ve ever been. I have a lot more knowledge than when I was a freshman.”

Most of the Wildcats are back from last season.

“We’ve played together for three years,” VanOrder said. “We have a lot of basketball skills. We’ve been here for awhile. We have a lot of fun too. Our team likes to have a good time.”

But the Wildcats, after not winning in 2013-14, were anxious to get off to a winning start and did that last week against Farwell. They will play Friday night at Central Montcalm and will be at home Dec. 15, 16 and 19 against Montabella, McBain Northern Michigan Christian and Beal City.