McBain opens new year with big win over Pine River, 55-38

January 10, 2019

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

The McBain boys basketball team had to wait a long time for a bounce back win. The Ramblers, who lost a heartbreaker to Clare just before the beginning of winter break, finally had their opportunity to bounce back with a home Highland Conference game with Pine Rive Friday night. Bounce back they did as they claimed a 55-38 victory.

“We went intro break with a loss so getting a win here helped erase that feeling,” head coach Bruce Koopman said. “With this being a conference game at home and the fact that they were tied with us in the conference race, it was a necessary win.”
The Ramblers, while not quite knowing what to expect in their battle with the Bucks, knew coming in that a win would be important in the race for the league title.

“I’m not sure going into the game we felt there was an advantage other than being on home court, Pine River has some excellent guards in Lane Ruppert, Elijah Lewis, Sasha Huffman and Caleb Bowman and are anchored inside by Trenton Holmes,” Koopman said. “I like our energy at times and focus, but we didn’t sustain for long periods of time. Defensively we gave up 38 points, but the offensive execution and rebounding weren’t where they need to be if we plan to win a conference championship.”

Connor Murphy led the way with 16 points, Garrett VerBerkmoes netted 12, with Logan Rodenbaugh and Devin Morris adding seven apiece.

McBain (7-1 overall, 3-0 Highland) had its home game with Manton postponed due to weather. The Ramblers head to Lake City tonight (Friday) and hosts McBain Northern Michigan Christian on Friday.

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