Vikings pull away for win


By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor and Enterprise



Evergreen’s first half against Patrick Henry was more like something out of a Stephen King horror movie.

There were missed breakaway layups that were ghastly.

Upcourt passes after steals that frightfully were at ankles or out of bounds.

However, the Vikings fought through that dreadful and dire time to pull away in the second half to take a 38-30 win over Patrick Henry Friday at home in boys basketball.

Evergreen is now 12-2 overall and 2-1 in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League.

In that terrifying first half, the Vikes shot just 23 percent, missing five layups and committed 11 turnovers, nearly all unforced but still led 11-10 because Patrick Henry was just 4-19 from the floor.

After Layke Crossland’s foul line jumper put the Patriots up 12-11 a minute into the third, Evergreen looked more like Evergreen instead of Freddy from A Nightmare On Elm Street.

After a trade of buckets and lead changes, Evan Lumbrezer picked a Patriot at halfcourt for a score, and hit 3-4 from the line for a four-point lead.

Clayton Feehan and Drew Rosengarten scored to tie the game with 1:50 to go in the quarter, but Evergreen answered with Jake fuller’s snap pass to Ethan Loeffler for a bucket that gave Evergreen the lead and began a 16-4 Viking run that extended deep into the fourth quarter.

Lumbrezer scored twice on back-to-back theft-and-runs to the rim, Austin Lumbrezer hit Loeffler with a cut to the bucket out of the spread and Loeffler did the same with Evan Lumbrezer to make it 28-20.

Then after poor free throw shooting was part of the chilling first half, Brock Hudik, RJ Shunck, Loeffler and Evan Lumbrezer combined to go 8-8 from the line to help extend the Evergreen lead to as much as 34-22 coming down the stretch. The Vikings ended a more Evergreen-like 16-22 for the game from the stripe.

“Our two captains (Evan Lumbrezer and Loeffler) finally flipped the switch and made plays,” Viking coach Jerry Keifer said after. “Probably the best play that Evan made is when he left his man on an inbounds play and picked the lob pass into a post player and converted it into a score.

“It was a night that we really needed him to be special and he was special.

“It wasn’t Ethan’s best game but he kept grinding and grinding and he finally got it going.”

The Vikings also shot 53 percent in the second half, and outrebounded the Patriots 28-20.

Evan Lumbrezer scored 15 of his 17 in the second half and had nine steals in the game. Loeffler added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Feehan led Patrick Henry — who is now 6-10 — with 13.

Evergreen hosts pre-season favorite and league-leading Wauseon Friday night.

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By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor and Enterprise

Reach Joe Blystone at fcesports@aimmediamidwest.com.

Reach Joe Blystone at fcesports@aimmediamidwest.com.