LEROY \u2014 If any team ever proved it\u2019s tough to be defeated by an opponent three times in one season, it\u2019s the Pine River girls basketball squad. Especially based on what happened at the Class C districts in Mesick last week, the Bucks seem to be up for any challenge that comes their way. Last week in the Class C districts at Mesick, Pine River defeated McBain on Wednesday 48-42 in the semifinals. The Bucks had beaten Mesick earlier in the week. In the finals on Friday, Pine River topped Manton 51-46. Manton and McBain both defeated Pine River twice in Highland Conference action. Miranda Nelson led Pine River with 23 points against Manton and Jamie Justin added 10. Ruppert considered the victory over Manton perhaps even more impressive than the win over McBain because the first victory \u201cwas such an emotional win. To be able to come back two days later and be ready for it was big. We played Monday, Wednesday and Friday last week so we couldn\u2019t practice for McBain or Manton that much. I was really pleased the way we came out on Friday.\u201d Justin scored 14 points in the win against McBain while Molly Motzer had 11. \u201cWe shot the ball well both games and it was our defense,\u201d Ruppert said. \u201cWe made some adjustments after watching the film. The girls did it.\u201d Two starters who played key roles last week for the Bucks are sophomores Cayman Gatt and Haley Raymond. Both are first year players. Raymond had eight points in the win over McBain. \u201cAt first, it took me awhile to catch up with the pace of everything,\u201d Raymond said. \u201cI fit in pretty good now and I really like it.\u201d Raymond said rebounding has been her main role. Last week \u201cwe moved the ball a lot, we were shooting good and we really worked as a team,\u201d Raymond said. \u201cThat\u2019s really important. We were very confident. We hate to lose.\u201d Gatt has focused on defense and running the floor. She credited defense to her team\u2019s championship week. It was disappointing, Raymond admitted, not to win the conference. \u201cI think we learned a lot from it,\u201d Raymond said. \u201cWe learned what we did wrong. We came out and got them after that.\u201d \u201cWe have to keep working together and play good defense,\u201d said Gatt who plays forward and point guard. Pine River, 18-5, faced Kalkaska, 21-1, on Tuesday in the regionals. The winner plays Thursday night at Kalkaska against Johannesburg-Lewiston, 13-10, or Harbor Springs, 18-4, in the regional title game. \u201cThey\u2019re a good team,\u201d Ruppert said of Kalkaska. \u201cWe scrimmaged them in the preseason. So we know a lot of what they\u2019re doing. I\u2019m sure they changed some things.\u201d \u201cWe want to go out there, give it our all and play the best we can,\u201d Raymond said.