FOSTORIA – Much of the night was like a really weird dream after eating blackened swordfish.
Except in this case the fumbled fastbreak passes, the wide open shots that went clang off the rim and missed free throws were real.
The positive was that when Evergreen awoke from a 32-minute nightmare, they had defeated Northwood 51-42 in the first round of the Northwest Ohio Holiday Classic at Fostoria Thursday.
The Vikings’ win moved them to 6-1 on the season and earned them a date in the title match with the host Redmen from the Northern Buckeye Conference tonight.
After Bryce Hudik scored off his own miss at the 6:48 mark of the first, Evergreen didn’t convert a field goal for over five minutes.
During that time Mason Loeffler canned 4 of 5 from the foul line before the Rangers’ Jay Moten laced a triple to give Northwood a 7-6 lead with 1:48 left.
Evergreen reclaimed the lead for good when Ethan Loeffler cleaned up Mason Loeffler’s missed dunk for an 8-7 lead. Mason Loeffler then found Hudik on a back cut for a 10-7 advantage at the end of one.
Moten’s steal and score, then Kayvon Black’s jumper got Northwood within 12-11 before Evergreen went on a more Viking-like 14-3 run.
Hudik’s reverse layup started the salvo, Mason Loeffler and Nate Brighton fed each other block-to-block for scores, Chandler Lumbrezer scored twice on a steal then a fastbreak feed from Hudik to make it 26-14.
Jack Etue’s triple on a drive and dish from Hudik gave Evergreen a 29-16 halftime lead.
The second half though was more like the first quarter as the Vikings shot just 5 for 17 from the field and were guilty of eight turnovers, many of those botched fastbreak chances or passes to a wide open player that went off someone’s hands out of bounds.
Triples from Nic Borojevich and Hudik countered three Moten buckets in the third, then Brighton scored the only two Viking hoops in the fourth, one on a putback and the other on a three-point play to again offset three more Moten buckets.
In the end Mason Loeffler and Brighton made 6 of 6 from the line to keep the Evergreen advantage in the 9 to 11 point range.
For the game Evergreen shot just 16 for 40 while holding the Rangers to 18 for 52. Turnovers were nearly even as Northwood committed 13 to Evergreen’s 12.
Brighton led Evergreen scorers with 14 to go with 16 rebounds. Mason Loeffler added 12.
Moten led all scorers with 22 for Northwood.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com