“I’m fast, and there ain’t nothin’ you can do about it.”
Someday Evergreen point guard Alyssa Noe will be the girl on the Nike Future is Fast commercial.
The 5’5” junior wasn’t the leading scorer in the Vikings 57-45 win over Delta last Tuesday at Evergreen, but besides the 13 points she did score, Noe zig-zagged, went around and sped through the Panther defense all night.
“She’s quick isn’t she,” said Viking coach John Langenderfer. “She found people open all night which is what we’ve been talking about with her, but she can get from end to end faster than anyone I’ve seen this year.”
The Vikings got off to a fast start in the opening quarter as Eden Eisel scored off a fastbreak and with a left-hand drive, and Haili Mossing got inside for a couple power move baskets and a long range triple from the left wing. Then, Noe bobbed and weaved her way through the entire Panther defense for an end-to-end layup to give the Vikes a 17-8 lead.
However, the Panthers battled their way back in the second period.
Hayley Callahan’s spin move, Abby Freeman’s baseline drive and a spin move in the middle by Morgan Mattimore helped Delta get within 21-16 before Noe struck again on a steal and dash to the rim that bumped the Vikings back up seven.
But Freeman countered with a triple and Morgan Mattimore used the same spin move with a bank as before to bring the Panthers closer at 23-21.
Hannah Herr hammered a triple for Evergreen, but Delta finished the half with Darian Elendt’s stick back hoop and a Jenni Davis free throw to only trail 26-24 at intermission.
“The middle of the second quarter I could see we were out of legs after playing the night before (a 59-41 win over Cardinal Stritch),” said Langenderfer. “We needed that break to get our legs back.”
“I was convinced that (Evergreen) playing back-to-back would be in our favor,” said Panther coach Ryan Ripke. “We were right where we wanted to be.”
The Panthers were on the verge of the lead when Morgan Mattimore scored on an out-of-bounds play with 3:48 left in the third to chop the Evergreen lead to 30-29. But, Mossing hit from long range from the left corner and deep on the right wing, both within 32 seconds of each other, blowing that single point lead to a 36-26 advantage.
“I though we held Mossing in check pretty much in the first half,” explained Ripke. “But when she bombed those three’s in the third quarter, that was the turning point in the game.”
Eisel followed with a left-handed scoop and score to put the Vikes up 38-29 heading into the fourth.
Maddie Mattimore nailed a long triple from above the top of the key to open the fourth to get Delta within six.
The road-runner like point guard dribbled through the Panther press and found Mossing for a score, then hit Eisel for a few easy scores, then buried a triple and converted 4 of 4 from the foul line to expand the Viking lead through the fourth.
“I was disappointed with our defensive effort, I thought we could’ve played a lot smarter,” said Ripke. “Alyssa Noe absolutely killed us and I thought we weren’t rotating over and trying to stop her as a team. She’s faster than anybody that we’ve seen.
“Maybe we were kind of dumb and stayed in the press too long and she just absolutely shredded us.”
Mossing led all scorers with 23, while Eisel added 16 more for the Vikings (now 7-1) who committed just six turnovers on the night.
“Again, for playing back-to-back and as fast as we played that’s taking care of the basketball pretty well,” Langenderfer stated.
Morgan Mattimore was the only Panther in double figures with 17.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org