In an overtime game, it can be said there was probably about 35 things that could’ve happened to change the outcome.
The fact that with your two bigs off the floor because of fouls, your opponent gets four straight putbacks.
Then there was a late fadeaway jumper that was disallowed because of a controversial offensive foul call.
But the one glaring factor in Patrick Henry’s 63-60 overtime win over Evergreen Friday night in NWOAL boys basketball was the Vikings going 12-22 from the foul line that included three missed front ends of the bonus.
The state ranked Patriots are now 12-1 on the season.
Evergreen stated off in Evergreen-type manner as Tyson Woodring and Eli Keifer fed each other on swipe and scores to give Evergreen an 8-4 lead after a quarter.
Lincoln Creager’s long triple and Mack Hieber’s three-point play boosted the Patriots up 12-11 with 5:40 left in the half, but Keifer took the game over accounting for 10 straight Viking points to give Evergreen a 21-16 halftime lead.
Keifer knocked in a baseline drive, floater in the key, dished to Walker Lumbrezer and Woodring for easy baskets, then closed the half scoring on a feed from Drew Gillen for the five point margin.
In the third it was Woodring who was the biggest key, creating chaos with three of his seven steals, in expanding the Viking bulge to as much as 14, 39-25.
The swift junior got two easy baskets off steals and scored two more off Patriot turnovers.
Lumbrezer got two more hoops off putbacks but during that time both Gillen and Riley Dunbar went to the bench with foul trouble, opening the door for the Patriots to use their massive size advantage.
Drew Rosengarten got two stickbacks while Aiden Behrman and Hieber each got another as Patrick Henry closed to 39-37 after three.
Hieber’s triple with 6:50 left made it 44-41 but Keifer came right back with a three-ball to knot the game 10 seconds later.
Both teams traded free throws for the next four minutes, however, the Vikings misfired on two front ends of the bonus and a two shot foul that could’ve given them a margin on top.
Lumbrezer’s and Behrman traded buckets in close to send the game to overtime.
Behrman put the Patriots up for good with 2:39 left then Hieber and Creager made a two man parade to the line where they hit eight straight.
Kiefer had a 35-footer that chopped a 59-55 deficit to a point with 19 ticks left.
Creager hit his final pair, then Hieber two more with 10 left around a pair from Keifer from the line. Keifer’s long triple try went in and out and Woodring’s last second 30-footer off a batted rebound was offline.
Keifer had a game-high 29 points and Woodring 14 for Evergreen.
The two combined for 11-12 from the foul line but the rest of the Vikings were just 1-10 and misfired on the aforementioned three front end of one-and-one attempts.
Hieber had 20 points for Patrick Henry, 17 coming in the second half. Creager added 17.
Evergreen turned the Patriots over 17 times while committing just 12.
Blackbirds top Vikes
The next night Evergreen was able to turn over Pettisville 14 times, but the steal and scores were minimal, and the Blackbirds went inside over and over to 1,000 point scorer Cayden Jacoby in a 56-45 win.
“Obviously if we can get the big fella (Jacoby) to touch it, we want him to touch it,” Blackbird coach Brian Leppelmeier expressed. “That is first and foremost. I think he does a great job finding his open teammates so yes, 34 needs to touch it.”
The Blackbirds ran clock in a very efficient manner in the first, getting two hoops inside from the 6’9” Jacoby, four points from Joey Ripke and a last second triple from Jaret Beck for an 11-3 lead.
The lead stood as 17-5 midway through the second as the same Blackbird trio each scored again.
“The number one thing we wanted to do was be patient with the basketball and get the shot we wanted to get,” Leppelmeier said. “Eli and Tyson at the top of that zone do such a great job of creating offense off their defense so that was the first thing we wanted, making sure they didn’t get that offense from their defense and working to get that patient shot.”
The Vikings found a spark as Blade Walker hit from the top of the key for three to start a 12-3 rally that including Woodring’s score off a steal and right-side triple to make it 20-17 before the Birds settled for a 22-17 margin at the break.
After Jacoby put the Birds up seven, Evergreen chopped the lead to 24-22 as Lumbrezer hit from long range and Keifer got 2-2 from the line after a steal.
However, it was Jacoby again and again, then one more time for a three-point play, two of those buckets on high-low feeds from Ripke to balloon the lead to 39-28 after the third. From there the Birds held off Evergreen, holding a seven to 11 point lead the rest of the way.
“Joey is a great target at the high post,” Leppelmeier said of his 6’5”-6’9” duo. “He can look over the top and find Cayden from there. With Evergreen with their athleticism it’s going to be very difficult with someone else in there but with Joey, he can see over the top and does a good job finding Cayden.”
Jacoby had 22 points to lead Pettisville. Beck had 12 and Ripke 10. Pettisville was 20-30 from the floor, almost all of them inside, for 67 percent.
Evergreen was 17-42 for just 40 percent. They committed just nine turnovers.