MCBAIN \u2014 Pine River\u2019s girls basketball team (16-2, 9-2) retained a share of first place in the Highland Conference with Friday\u2019s 54-42 victory over McBain Northern Michigan Christian. It was tied 21-21 at halftime, but the Bucks outscored NMC 33-21 in the second half to blow the game open. Logan Powell led the Bucks with 18 points and Julie Justin had 16. Kierra Justin added eight points and 13 rebounds. \u201cIn the first quarter we did everything right except put the ball in the basket,\u201d Pine River coach Shawn Ruppert said. \u201cWe just didn\u2019t shoot well. We should have been up by 15 at the end of the first quarter. So we let them stick around and they fought back. In the third, we started hitting. I am happy with how we\u2019re playing. We\u2019re doing what we have to do and win the conference.\u201d On Feb. 14, Pine River was home in a 59-39 non-league win over Clare, Julie and Kierra Justin had 16 points. Anna Lindquist scored eight points and Logan Powell and Kaylee Goodman added seven. \u201cClare had been playing pretty well,\u201d Ruppert said. \u201cThey beat the two top teams in their conference (Jack Pine). I was happy the way we played that night. We came out pretty intense.\u201d Pine River plays Lake City on Thursday in the regular-season finale. \u201cThey could very well beat us if we\u2019re not ready to play,\u201d Ruppert said.