BALDWIN -- Area boys basketball coaches are very happy to be playing

On Wednesday, Baldwin was set to be at Walkerville and Friday is home with Custer Mason County Eastern.

Baldwin is 2-0

"Walkerville is always a scrappy team and will make us work for a win over there," Baldwin coach JJ Eads said prior to the game.

"They have a couple players that can drive and stretch the floor. MCE, they have a very solid team returning. They return a few starters and they play well together. It's a rivalry game so we'll need to be ready. We won on each other's floor last year."

A factor to keep in mind is basketball teams did not get the green light for contact until Feb. 8.

"Only having (a few) contact practices has really hurt our defense," Eads said. "We have a long way to go to get to where we were last year at that end of the floor. Eleven months off hurts.

"Hopefully our shooting will improve as well. Shooting in live action is much different than getting shots up in drills."

It's a challenging week for Pine River's boys basketball team.

Starting on Wednesday, the Bucks had three game in four days.

All are at home.

They were to host McBain NMC on Wednesday, Roscommon on Friday and Cadillac on Saturday. The first two games are Highland Conference action. Cadillac is a nonleague opponent.

"NMC is young but has great length and athleticism," Pine River coach Brian Goodenow said. "We will need to rebound well and eliminate their second-chance opportunities. Roscommon lost some key players to graduation but had an excellent JV squad last year. Most of those players are now on varsity and are very skilled.

"Cadillac is a very complete team with solid guard play and a 6-foot-9 big man who has a great, outside shooting touch. They present many challenges and we look forward to the opportunity."