The only person who could stop Bekah Bowser was a runaway rugrat, who caused a slight delay late in the fourth quarter, as he scampered around the floor at the Big House at Evergreen.
Other than that, Patrick Henry got roasted by the Vikings’ sophomore guard for 29 points as Evergreen posted a 41-34 win over the Patriots Thursday night in Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls basketball.
Coupled with a Saturday afternoon victory over Hilltop, the Vikes are now 10-10 on the season.
“We knew going in that PH was going to be physical, they are always known for having kids who work very hard,” said Evergreen coach Brittaney Cymbolin. “We just tried to do our best to outhustle them tonight.
“I think our kids did a good job playing some tenacious defense, reading screens and doing things to set good traps and take the ball away.”
Bowser drained three long-range triples in the first quarter, outdueling the Patriots’ Audrey Sonnenberg 9-7, as each scored all of their teams’ first stanza points.
In the second Bowser had help.
Kennedi Keifer nailed a right-corner three-ball, Bowser knocked in two more along with a steal-and-score, then Keifer scored on a baseline drive with 38 seconds left in the half to give Evergreen a 22-15 halftime lead.
Patrick Henry got back to within one possession two and a half minutes into the third.
Sonnenberg scored inside and added two from the foul line, and Carissa Rosebrook also got inside to chop the Vikings’ lead to 24-21 with 5:30 left.
Evergreen responded with a 9-0 run on Nicole Brand’s left-wing bomb, then six points from Bowser on a drive-and-scoop and four of four at the stripe for a 33-21 lead with 3:54 to go.
However, the Patriots came right back with a 9-0 burst of their own that carried into the fourth.
Trista Fintel’s two scores in close, another by Kayla Prigge and Mckenzie Vance’s three-point play again got Patrick Henry back to a one possession deficit with 4:58 left in the game.
Savannah VanOstrand found Paige Radel ahead of the press, and Bowser’s slash to the rim out of the spread regained a seven point lead before the Vikings’ sophomore guard netted four free throws late to close out the Patriots.
Bowser hit five triples in the first half that made her the most prolific three-point shooter in Evergreen history for a single season.
She also was 8 of 11 from the foul line.
“We are really fortunate to have Bekah,” Cymbolin said of Bowser. “She works hard to get open, she is extremely coachable. She hits key shots and never hangs her head. That’s really admirable, especially for a sophomore.”
Sonnenberg had 13 to pace Patrick Henry.
Evergreen shot just 12 of 46 from the floor, but seven of those buckets were from outside the arc that proved to be the difference in the game.
Patrick Henry was 15 of 50.
Evergreen forced 20 turnovers while being guilty of 14.
The Vikings also learned their tournament seed and destination Sunday, as the road to the state championship begins later this month. They were assigned the eighth seed in the Division III, Anthony Wayne District.
Evergreen will take on seventh seed Elmwood on Tuesday, Feb. 18 in a sectional semifinal at Springfield starting at 7 p.m. The winner gets fifth-seeded Archbold Feb. 22 for the sectional championship beginning at 6:15 p.m.
The Vikings host Wauseon Thursday in league play.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com