Was it the multitude of missed Swanton Bulldog layups?
Or maybe the ill-advised three-point attempts with a slim Swanton lead and less than two minutes left that misfired?
Or just maybe it was the fact that Evergreen committed just three second half turnovers and shot 53 percent that brought the Vikings back from a 13-point hole to win when Abi Borojevich hit nothing but net on a buzzer beater from the left wing to give the Vikings a 51-49 upset win Friday in girls hoops.
Cydney Christensen got inside three straight times, accounting for six points early to help the Bulldogs jump out to a 10-5 lead.
Hannah Herr and Borojevich countered with back-to-back triples that gave the Vikes an 11-10 lead at the 2:02 mark of the first before Ally Hendricks’ bucket with 13 seconds left put Swanton up 15-13 after one.
Christensen’s three-point play on a bucket off the offensive glass along with two Haley Nelson hoops around a Borojevich triple bumped the lead to 22-18, and then a salvo of three straight long range bombs in just over a minute from Nelson, Sidney Taylor and Averie Lutz boosted the Bulldogs to a 31-18 lead before Jamie VanLoocke’s bucket made it 31-20 at the half.
Swanton had forced 13 turnovers and shot 56 percent from the field in the first half compared to the Vikings 8 of 20 from the floor.
“I told them we needed to calm down and we needed to hit shots,” Viking coach Brittaney Cymbolin explained of her halftime talk. “I always tell them to be offensive minded and that I trust them and I think that comes up big in games like these.”
VanLoocke scored 48 seconds into the third followed by Herr’s bank shot that got Evergreen within 31-24.
a triple from Aricka Lutz and three more points from Christensen inside got Swanton back to a 10 point lead at 39-29 with 3:20 left in the third.
It was then that Evergreen caught fire.
Nicole Brand’s sprawl to the floor offensive rebound turned into a Mady Peluso hoop, then two more buckets from Borojevich and a long triple from Herr just before the third quarter horn got Evergreen within 39-38.
“We told the kids this game was going to be a bunch of peaks and valleys and the team in rivalry game that gets through those valleys is the one who wins,” said Cymbolin.
Borojevich split four free throws to give Evergreen a 40-39 lead starting the fourth, but Christensen regained a Bulldog lead with a drive to the rim with 5:50 to go.
VanLoocke’s baseline jumped put Evergreen on top with 5:01 left before Swanton regained control on back-to-back three-point plays from Nelson and Averie Lutz to go up 47-42 with 2:33 left.
Herr again hit from long range to chop the Swanton lead to 47-45 and Taylor answered with a putback to make it 49-45. Two straight Swanton misses on three-point attempts gave the Vikings life and Borojevich cashed in going 2 of 2 from the line, then tying the game on a one-handed push with 23 seconds left.
“Hannah Herr is a senior who I know who can hit big shots at the end of games,” said Cymbolin. “We saw her hit one in the district semis against Delta. She’s a hard nosed kid, she’s a bulldog out there.”
Nelson went down the key through contact with less than 15 to go but lost the ball out of bounds on a controversial no-call to give the Vikings a chance.
After advancing the ball to mid court, Evergreen called time to set up their game winning play.
Borojevich received the ball going to the rim on the left wing and stuck a pull up jumper inside the three point line for the game winner.
“Tonight Abi Borojevich did what we have been looking for. Everyone has a role on the team and Abi knows hers is to score and tonight she really, really stepped up and did that,” explain Cymbolin about her sophomore point guard.
In the second half Swanton cooled to 7 of 22 from the floor while Evergreen was 12 of 23 with just three turnovers.
“One of our goals is to value the basketball,” explained Cymbolin. “We have been struggling with that for the last three games so obviously we were much better in the second half.”
Borojevich had 23 points to lead all scorers while Herr added 13.
Christensen and Nelson each had 14 for Swanton.
Evergreen evens their record at 2-2 while the Bulldogs also are 2-2.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org