WHITEHOUSE – Officials don’t necessarily win or lose a game, but they sure can influence the tone and momentum.
A late third quarter no-call created a no-win situation, as what turned into a possible four point swing gave Eastwood the momentum and the Eagles came from behind to knock Evergreen out of the Division III boys basketball sectional at Anthony Wayne Wednesday, 55-49.
The Vikings finish their season at 12-11.
Early on the Vikings were far from intimidated by the senior dominated 16-6 Eagles.
Mason Loeffler’s six points and a putback by Nate Brighton gave the Vikes an 8-3 lead with 5:07 left in the first.
The Eagles came back to take a 10-8 lead on Brendan Halko’s triple, and Halko extended the lead to 13-9 when he again hit from outside the arc with 2:42 left.
Evergreen roared back with a 12-0 run that carried into the second quarter.
Chandler Lumbrezer’s up and under move started the rally. Bryce Hudik’s rebound off his own miss and Brighton’s jumper from the right side of the key at the first quarter horn gave Evergreen a 15-13 lead.
Lumbrezer’s turnaround, Loeffler’s baby hook and two of two from the line from Lumbrezer put Evergreen up 21-13 with 5:36 to go in the half.
Eastwood responded with a 12-3 blast on six points from Grant Hirzel, a third triple from Halko and another from Cade Boos to regain a 25-24 lead before Loeffler got ahead of the pack for a resounding slam to end the first half and give the lead back to the Vikings.
Hudik’s seven third quarter points, along with a three-pointer from Lumbrezer, kept Eastwood at bay in the third.
Loeffler’s bucket inside with 10 seconds left gave Evergreen a 40-36 lead when the play that turned the game 180 degrees happened.
Jack Etue rebounded an Eastwood miss and was cleaned out by Hirzel underneath with a hit that any NFL defensive back would be proud of.
However, no whistle came from the official underneath and after it seemed that both teams hesitated waiting for a call, Hirzel grabbed the loose ball and laid it in just before the buzzer.
With Evergreen already in the bonus, rather than shooting for a six point lead from the foul line, the Viking advantage was chopped to a bucket heading into the fourth quarter.
Boos tied the game on a steal, then after Hudik hit a pair from the line, Cory Coffman got inside twice for scores to put Eastwood ahead.
A third bucket from Coffman on a drive and Tyler Haas’ three-point play gave the Eagles a 49-43 lead with 4:37 left.
Josh Dowling’s bucket was countered by Haas.
Loeffler and Hudik each split a pair from the foul line and Loeffler’s spin move with 1:25 to go got Evergreen within 51-49. However, with Evergreen attacking on defense for a steal, Haas again got inside for a bucket and after an Evergreen miss, Boos put the game away with a pair from the line.
Five Eagles scored in double figures, accounting for all 55 Eastwood points.
Coffman led the way with 11 points. Loeffler’s 20 points led the Vikings, while Hudik added 12.
Evergreen and Eastwood each shot 46 percent and committed 10 turnovers.
The story in the second half was rebounding, as Eastwood held a 19-11 advantage on the boards and 30-22 for the game.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org
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