In his career at Evergreen High School, Viking basketball coach Jerry Keifer has a lengthy list of accomplishments on his resume.’
The veteran mentor has led the Vikings to a pair of NWOAL titles, 12 sectional championships and three district crowns in 1998, 2000 and 2006.
Keifer can now add another milestone as his Vikings rallied from a 12-point first half deficit to knock off Montpelier, 56-51, netting him coaching victory number 300 before a raucous and vocal crowd at Evergreen Friday night.
“I’m kind of relieved a little bit,” said Keifer, humbly speaking of notching the 300 mark. “It means I’ve had a whole lot of really good basketball players over the last 22 years. You don’t win that many games in that period of time without really good basketball players and we’ve had really good coaches with me. I can name every assistant coach I’ve had in 22 years. It’s just really special, I remember my first game coaching we lost on a halfcourt shot and I’ll always remember this one the way it played out.
“I guess the bigger thing than the 300 is that we are 6-8 right now (with as much youth as we have). I’m more excited about having the six wins at this point in the season than I am about the 300 wins. That’s what’s exciting is without our point guard we’re 6-8 after beating a good team.”
The loss dropped the Locos to 8-5 on the year. Kolden Uribes’ 19 and Michael Blake’s 17 led the Locos.
Josh Dowling and Bryce Hudik each had 10 to lead a very balanced Viking attack with eight of Dowling’s coming in the fourth quarter.
Evergreen then fell 54-33 at home to Ottawa Hills on Saturday.
The Vikings now host Bryan in an NWOAL contest Friday night before traveling to North Central on Saturday.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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