Wing giving Bucks spark from off the bench


LEROY — Pine River’s basketball team has built a 15-3 record and among the reasons for the Bucks success has been the strong play of performers from off the bench.

Coach Brian Goodenow refers to them as “the swarm” team, which comes off the bench and provides a new look and new energy, while the starters take a breather on the bench.

That includes Tyler Wing, who has had some productive games for the team.

“We have to bring energy,” he said. “Usually, our starting five does that pretty well. We bring the next level of energy. We bring in fresh bodies. We try to put that swarm defense in to try to make (the other team) mess up, get into their heads and get them frustrated.”

In a recent Pine River victory over Marion, “we did good,” Wing said of the swarm team. “Our swarm team came in and we did good especially in a quiet gym where there wasn’t that many people.”

Wing had a season-high 12 points in that game.

“I try to bring the energy as much as possible,” he said. “When I’m on, I can shoot and I try to be a rebounder as much as possible because we’re small.”

The Bucks “are firing on all cylinders right now,” Wing said. “But there’s still things to improve on. We have to limit the offensive rebounds they get and play an intense (brand) of defense.”

The Bucks played home Tuesday against Evart and have their regular-season finale against Beal City. The districts open next Wednesday at McBain against the home team.