Wildcats ground Eagles with 61-50 victory

Evart improves to .500 in Highland Conference play with victory over Marion

EVART — It was another sluggish start for the Evart Wildcats Friday night.

But Evart, led by Jared Pattee with 17 points, emerged with a 61-50 Highland Conference boys basketball victory over Marion.

Evart is 2-2 in the league and 4-2 overall.

POSSESSION: Evart’s Robert Burge tries to make a pass around a Marion defender during boys basketball action on Friday. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

POSSESSION: Evart’s Robert Burge tries to make a pass around a Marion defender during boys basketball action on Friday. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

It was a struggle, which had coach Kris Morgan concerned throughout the game.

“We’re still a little lethargic,” Morgan said. “We scored 61 points, which is over our average. But it seems like we left a lot of points out there.”

Marion cut the gap to 29-22 early in the third on a triple by Tyrell Hall. But the Wildcats hit four straight points. The Eagles retaliated with four straight points. Hall’s three at 2:24, followed moments later by Ethan Russell’s layup that made it 35-31 in favor of Evart. Jacob Fortune’s 3-pointer gave the Wildcats some breathing space moments later. The Wildcats led 38-32 after the third quarter.

Cody Fournier opened the fourth quarter for Evart with a 3-pointer.

Morgan used a different lineup in the fourth and when Josh Decator hit inside at 5:55, it was 45-36. Then the first-string players re-entered and Pattee drove for two and a 47-36 lead at 5:24. Brad Fall scored for the Eagles at 4:30 to cut theEvart lead to 49-40. Fournier’s 3-pointer at 3:20 made it 52-40.

“Larry VanBuren and Josh Decator didn’t get a whole lot of time but they came in and did their job,” Morgan said.

Marion hung tough but Pattee drilled a long triple and hit the free throw at 2:06 for a 58-46 advantage. Pattee iced it with a 3-point play with 40 seconds left for a 61-48 edge.

“I thought Evart played really tough,” said Marion coach Harold Dodde. “They never gave up and they hit some fantastic shots. They were a little bigger than we were. We had trouble guarding (Chris Garner).”

Despite sloppy play in the first half, the Wildcats had a 27-17 lead at the intermission.

“Our bigs had a hard time getting ready for that ball underneath,” Morgan said. “They weren’t securing the ball as best as they could.”

Pattee scored four points in a first quarter which ended with the Wildcats trailing 7-6. Jacob Fortune came off the bench with a triple and seven points while Chris Garner established the inside game with nine points to spark Evart to the 10-point halftime advantage. But turnovers continued to plague Evart.

Also for Evart, Fortune had 12 points for the Wildcats while Garner added 11. Dyer had eight rebounds followed by Garner and Derek Bowen with six apiece. Pattee had five assists while Dyer added four.

Russell led Marion with 14 points while Spencer Witbeck added 12.

“I thought we played a little bit out of control,” Dodde said. “We had too many turnovers.”

Marion falls to 0-5 in the league and 2-5 overall.

Evart is home Monday against Montabella.

EVART 61, MARION 50

M 07 10 15 18 — 50

E 06 21 11 22 — 61

Evart (2-2, 4-2 Highland)

Nolan VanOrder 0 0-2 0, Derek Bowen 1 0-0 2, Jared Pattee 5(1) 4-4 17, Chris Garner 4 3-4 11, Tre Dyer 4 1-2 9, Jacob Fortune 3(2) 0-0 12, Cody Fournier 0(2) 0-0 6, Larry VanBuren 1 0-0 2, Josh Decator 1 0-0 2. Totals 19 (5) 8-12 61

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Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at jraffel@pioneergroup.com.

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