HOLLAND – Archbold displayed a short-term memory Tuesday night, defeating Northwest Ohio Athletic League rival Evergreen, 50-23, in the Division III girls basketball sectional semifinal at Springfield.
The win comes five days after they were dismantled by Delta, losing by 25 to the Panthers Thursday in a winner-take-all game for the league championship.
“I thought we played with a lot more energy tonight,” said Archbold coach Brian Ziegler after the game. “It showed with our defensive intensity. We just didn’t have that the last few ball games. And, you know, I think that the little bit of rest helped us. And I thought the girls handled the loss (to Delta) well. We didn’t dwell on it.”
The Blue Streaks jumped out to a 9-1 lead on five points from Emie Peterson, plus four more from Lily Krieger. That ballooned into a 20-7 lead after the opening quarter.
Evergreen’s defense did a nice job recovering to start the second quarter, holding Archbold to just one basket in the first 3:23. However, the Vikings did not dent the scoreboard in that time.
Andi Peterson got the Blue Streak offense going again with a made jump shot, then Kamryn Hostetler drilled one from long range, Krieger scored inside and Gabby Nafziger split a pair of free throws to make it 30-7 with 2:21 left in the half.
The Vikings scored their first points of the second quarter with a putback from Bailie Sutter at the 1:58 mark. Then, Nafziger drew a foul while shooting a three and went to the line where she hit on two of three attempts. This made the difference 32-9 at the break.
The Streaks were having success without one of their starters, as junior Blair Bucklew missed the game with an injury she suffered against Delta. She warmed up with the team but did not play.
“We’ve been through this all season,” said Ziegler on having to play without Bucklew. “I don’t know if throughout the last six weeks we’ve had our starting five totally healthy. We just talk about girls stepping up. Brooke (Kohler) did a nice job filling the starting role.”
Evergreen went on a mini 7-2 run to start the second half. Sutter opened scoring in the third with a basket, Krieger answered with a putback, but the Vikings’ Hannah Herr hit a triple and then converted a fast break opportunity to get them within 34-16 at the 5:13 mark.
However, the Archbold defense held them down after that, outscoring Evergreen 10-1 over the final five plus minutes.
“That’s what we’ve done in the past,” said Ziegler of his team’s defense. “If we don’t score, we’ve been able to hold our opponent. And we haven’t been able to do that (recently). Our identity, we were kind of questioning it. But I thought we got that back tonight.”
In fact, after that run to begin the third quarter, the Vikings scored just seven points total.
The Streaks were led by Krieger who was a rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds. Kohler also had nine boards.
Emie Peterson added 11 points and Andi Peterson 10. Borojevich led the Vikings with seven points.
Archbold (20-3) next faces Otsego on Saturday back at Springfield for the sectional championship which will tip off at 1 p.m. Evergreen ends the season at 10-12.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010
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