Wildcats down Farwell in district opener

Evart tops Farwell, 59-47, to set up rematch with Highland foe Pine River in the semis on Wednesday

EVART — The Evart Wildcats will get another shot at the Pine River Bucks. Chris Garner scored 24 points while Jacob Fortune and Robert Tapling added 11 apiece to lead the Wildcats past Farwell 59-47 in Class C boys basketball district first-round action Monday night. Evart (9-10) plays Pine River at 6 p.m. Wednesday in a district semifinal game at Beaverton. The Bucks defeated Evart twice during the regular season. The season ends for Farwell at 9-12. Garner also had eight rebounds, all on the offensive end. “We think (Garner) is one of the best big men around,” said Evart coach Kris Morgan. “We need to get him to play to his potential. He’s been working to do that.” Evart had defeated Farwell during the regular season in December. “This was a very similar game,” said Farwell coach Eric Schunk. “It was very tight at the end of the third quarter, a one-point game. It went down that same way. We didn’t capitalize when we had the opportunities and they did.” Both teams struggled offensively in the first half, which ended in a 23-22 Farwell lead. Curtis Robinson had the hot hand for the Eagles in the first quarter with nine points. Jared Pattee and Garner scored five points apiece and Jacob Fortune added a 3-pointer for a 15-15 tie going into the second period. Walter Mosby hit two straight baskets late in the second quarter to help the Eagles maintain their one-point halftime lead. Seth Baginski’s triple gave Farwell a 31-27 lead halfway through the third quarter. Pattee was on the bench with four fouls for Evart, but Fortune hit a triple and scored a layup off a steal for a 34-33 lead at 1:40. Trent Marhofer hit two free throws with no time left on the clock for a 37-36 third-quarter Eagles lead. Tapling scored at 6:20 for a 40-37 lead. He followed with a triple seconds later. Garner’s two free throws gave Evart a 48-40 advantage at 3:15. Tapling’s layup off a steal made it a 10-point game moments later. Garner had a putback for a 52-43 lead at 1:25. Pattee’s four straight free throws made it 57-45 with 54 seconds to play. “We had a big opportunity when their point guard goes out with four fouls, but ours (Dylan Brown) is out with an ankle injury,” said Schunk. “Some guys stepped up, came in and limited our turnovers and handled their pressure and knocked down some key shots,” Morgan said. “I thought Jacob Fortune knocked down some good shots. He was a leader on our defense. We tried switching up with a 2-3 and 1-3-1. He really took control of the defense.” Marhofer led Farwell with 12 points. Morgan likes his team’s potential as the tournament continues against Pine River. “We’re one of the bigger teams over there,” Morgan said. “If we can knock down some shots and limit their shots and offensive boards, I think we’ll be all right and can give them a game.” EVART 59, FARWELL 47 FW 15 08 14 10 — 47 EV 15 07 14 23 — 59 EVART (9-10) Robert Tapling 4(1) 0-7 11, Tre Dyer 0 0-0 0, Chris Garner 9 6-8 24, Derek Bowen 0 1-2 1, Jared Pattee 2 6-8 10, Jacob Fortune 2 (2) 1-3 11, Larry VanBuren 0 0-0 0, Robert Burge 0 0-0 0, Andrew Bengry 0 1-2 1 Cody Fournier 0 0-2 0, Thomas Hyde 0 1-2 1. Totals 17 (3) 16-32 59.