MONTPELIER – Evergreen took Montpelier’s best punch then retaliated with a quick fourth quarter run to knock off the Locos 54-46 to stay atop in the NWOAL basketball race at 6-0 Thursday night.
“After the game their coach said that’s the best game they have played all year,” said Viking coach John Langenderfer. “And the performance Hannah Blake put together was the best single game performance against us all year.
“We’ve have told the kids that where we are right now (at the front of the pack in the league), that we are going to get everyone’s best game against us. We just have to be better.”
Haili Mossing scored six first quarter points, and Rachael and Alyssa Noe each hit a three-ball to help the Vikings go up 14-8 after the first stanza.
But with the Vikes up 20-12, Blake went to work scoring six straight for the Locos to get Montpelier within 20-18.
“We switched to a man-to-man to try and slow her down,” said Langenderfer. “And we did a pretty good job for the rest of the half. But she got it going again in the third when we had people get into foul trouble.”
Evergreen extended the lead to 31-21 at the break behind Mossing and Alyssa Noe again but Blake led a third quarter comeback with eight more points that sliced the Vikings’ lead to 38-36 heading into the fourth.
The Vikes held a slim 42-40 lead with less than six minutes left but Mossing nailed a triple and Alyssa Noe scored on an acrobatic left-handed bank on consecutive possessions to get the Vikings back up 47-40 and they kept the game in that range from the foul line.
“We have great balance,” explained Langenderfer. “And enough kids to score that if someone is having an off night, others can pick them up.”
Mossing’s 21 and Alyssa Noe’s 15 led Viking scorers, while Blake had game scoring honors with 25.
Evergreen committed just 10 turnovers in the fast paced game.
The Vikings are now 13-1 heading into an important NWOAL contest at Bryan Thursday night.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org