After Evergreen fizzled shooting the ball a week before against Archbold, the Vikings sizzled on the road at Bryan shooting 56 percent from the floor, and Viking point guard Evan Lumbrezer recorded a triple-double as Evergreen rang up a 59-46 win over the Golden Bears Friday night.
Evergreen followed up that win with a slow-paced 34-31 decision over Fayette at home Saturday, running their record to 15-5.
“After what happened last week at Archbold, we decided that we were no longer going to consider ourselves a zone team,” said Viking coach Jerry Keifer. “We got after it man-to-man pretty hard this week and it was nice to see us come out and really get after Bryan defensively.”
Brock Hudik’s triple from the wing at the 5:15 mark of the first quarter gave Evergreen the lead for good at 5-2 and the Vikings added on from there.
Ethan Loeffler’s layup off a feed from Lumbrezer, then Lumbrezer’s pull-up jumper made it 11-6 after a quarter.
After Evan Cox cut the Viking lead to three, Evergreen rang up 11 of the next 13 points.
Lumbrezer had seven of those on a triple and two layups — including a coast-to-coast attack — with 48 seconds left in the half to more than double up Bryan, 22-10, before Cox scored to make the Evergreen advantage 10 at intermission.
Titus Rohrer’s 3-pointer to begin the second half got Bryan back to single digits but Hudik countered again from outside the arc and the Vikings padded the lead from that point.
Loeffler scored seven straight against the Bryan bigs inside, Lumbrezer knocked down a foul line jumper, Hudik nailed his third triple of the night and RJ Shunck added one more from long range to push Evergreen on top 42-25 at the quarter.
“Brock hit three from outside to help us scoring wise and Jake Fuller was really good at the defensive end against their big kids,” expressed Keifer.
“And then players you expect to lead you led. Evan had the basketball in his hands most of the game and when we were really good, he was the one getting it done scoring and distributing. Ethan Loeffler tonight, his performance might have been the best of his career. He was pretty good against Pettisville earlier in the year but tonight what he did against another very good big kid (the 6’8” Rohrer) might have been his best.”
Twice the Vikings’ lead reached 19, both on Loeffler baskets on penetration dishes from Evan Lumbrezer, and the Viking point guard assisted on yet two more buckets by Austin Lumbrezer and Hudik in the fourth as the Vikings shot a sizzling 70 percent in the second half.
Lumbrezer finished with 20 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, and just for good measure, added five steals.
Loeffler had 19 and Hudik added 13, including a perfect night from beyond the arc.
Evergreen finished the night 23-41 from the floor and outrebounded the much bigger Golden Bears, 29-24.
Besides Lumbrezer’s 10 boards, Fuller also had 10 for the Vikings.
“We are happy to get another league win and get to 14 on the year,” said Keifer. “We are trying to get a mini win streak going heading into the tournament (the third-seeded Vikings host Otsego in the opening round February 24), and keep getting better.”
Rohrer had 14 to lead Bryan and Cox had 12.
Vikings nip Eagles
The following night, Tanner Wagner and Eli Eberly hit a pair from outside in the first two and a quarter minutes to give Fayette a 6-5 lead, but that would be it for the Eagles for the rest of the half.
Fuller and Hudik hit back-to-back triples in the second to get Evergreen back up 11-6 and Loeffler’s score inside with 40 ticks left gave the Vikings a 13-6 halftime lead.
After those first two 3-pointers Fayette missed their next 16 shots — most from outside the arc.
Evergreen wasn’t much better as the Vikings missed score after score on doinked layup chances, going just 5-16.
Lumbrezer’s two scores — one on a steal and hoop — in the first minute of the third put Evergreen up double figures at 17-6, but the Eagles began finding the range and scored the next 12 to take a one-point lead.
Phillip Whiteside threw one off the board and in to start the rally, then drilled a triple.
Elijah Lerma scored on a pair of tough moves to the rim around another Eberly three to give the Eagles an 18-17 lead, before Fuller’s two free throws knotted the game at 20 with five seconds left in the third.
Hudik’s bomb from the left side and Lumbrezer’s second steal-and-score turned into a three-point play to give Evergreen a 26-20 edge with 5:44 left.
Fuller and Austin Lumbrezer’s layups, both from Evan Lumbrezer, got the Vikings up 32-24 with 1:40 to go.
Lerma scored 11 to lead Fayette while Hudik’s 10 points led the Vikings. Loeffler speared 10 caroms off the glass.
Evergreen shot 6-10 in the fourth quarter after going just 7-25 in the first three. Fayette hit 10-22 in the second half, 6-10 in the third quarter.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org.