Finally the complete game that Evergreen coach Jerry Keifer has been looking for all season, happened in the semifinal of the Northwest Ohio Holiday Classic Thursday, as the Vikings controlled the contest from start to finish for a 61-41 win over Fostoria.
“I thought we passed the ball really well against their zone and we had a good game plan against their zone,” explained Keifer. “And I thought a couple of kids played really well tonight.”
Evergreen jumped to a quick 6-0 lead as John Machacek scored inside on a feed from one of Josh Dowling’s six assists, Nate Brighton had a putback and Dowling took a back cut feed from Brighton for another hoop before Eli Wall put the Redmen on the board with 3:23 left in the quarter.
Bryce Hudik’s wide open triple and Mason Loeffler’s bucket again from Brighton gave the Vikings an 11-2 lead.
Maalik Tucker’s five straight points closed the gap to 13-8 at the quarter break, but Evergreen extended the lead again in the second.
Dowling’s three hoops an yet another dish to Machacek for a three-point play helped Evergreen boost the lead to 27-16 at the half.
“Josh Dowling played again really well,” said Keifer. “He got into the key, got a lot assists and finished well too.”
It was Machacek, Lumbrezer, Dowling and Hudik in the third, each either scoring or assisting on two buckets each that allowed Evergreen to keep the lead growing to 43-28 after three.
Lumbrezer scored back-to-back hoops inside to start the fourth, the second on a great no-look pass from Dowling that started a 15-2 run that put the game on ice.
“I thought it was Chandler Lumbrezer’s best game of the season,” noted Keifer. “He didn’t score a lot (8 points) but he had some good assists, and like you said we shared the basketball well.
“Nate Brighton didn’t score a lot but had 10 rebounds in which was his best game inside on the boards.”
Jack Etue hit back-to-back triples as Keifer subbed liberally most of the night to give Evergreen their biggest lead at 60-34.
“We brought people in from off the bench, Jack comes in and hits three triples which was a big lift,” stated Keifer. “We got great minutes from Nick Beemer, Mason Henricks and Zack Lumbrezer.”
The win broke a five-game losing streak for Evergreen, those of which were by a total of 16 points.
“Hopefully we can get this turned around and win a couple of games here,” explained Keifer. “Getting back to .500 then putting a few more on the win side than the loss side.”
Hudik led all scorers with 17 while Dowling had 14.
The great ball movement by the Vikes led to 53 percent from the floor in a 25 for 47 shooting effort, with assists coming on 18 of those 25 buckets.
Evergreen also outrebounded Fostoria 35-24.
Anaes Cousin had nine points and 6’6” big man Terrell Kirby eight for Fostoria.
The Vikings will face Montpelier in the final of the tournament tonight.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com