FOSTORIA – What a difference 24 hours can make.
After looking everything from very lethargic to flat out not very good in a 51-42 win over Northwood, Evergreen did a complete 180 and rolled over Fostoria 84-52 in the title game of the Northwest Ohio Holiday Classic, played in Fostoria Friday.
“Last night we were fortunate to get a ‘W’ the way we played,” stated Viking coach Jerry Keifer. “We were very disappointed the way we played, we didn’t defend the way we normally do and we didn’t execute offensively like we are capable of and then we come back tonight and be a polar opposite and do many of the things that we believe we are capable of doing.”
In fact the game wasn’t really as close as the 32-point final margin.
After Avondre Reed’s triple gave the Redmen a 5-4 lead with 4:38 left in the first, like aftershocks after an earthquake, the Vikings rocked Fostoria’s world again and again.
In the next 90 seconds, Evergreen went on a 13-2 rumble, taking a 17-7 lead.
Nate Brighton found Chandler Lumbrezer on an inside-out series for a triple to give Evergreen the lead, then the 6’4” junior dished to Nic Borojevich for a three-point play.
Mason Loeffler’s long triple was the next blow before Bryce Hudik’s reverse layup and a pair of Lumbrezer free throws gave the Vikes the 10 point lead.
It was 30-18 when the Vikings went off again in the second.
Jack Etue put back his own miss, then Hudik, Lumbrezer and Loeffler each knocked down long range bombs that were the keys in a 15-2 burst to finish the half with Evergreen up 45-20.
The Vikings were 17 for 28 in the first half from the floor in an up tempo contest that saw the Redmen go just 8 for 29.
“We defended about as well as we have so far this year,” Keifer said of his team’s effort. “We got into passing lanes like we should, we kept a very athletic team off the glass and forced them out deeper in their offense.”
Another Richter scale rocker started the third quarter, this one a 16-1 surge led by Loeffler’s nine straight points that included a four-point play when he was fouled on a three-ball.
Hudik also tripled, Borojevich hit a baseline jumper and Brighton scored on a zip pass from Lumbrezer to give Evergreen a 61-21 lead.
“We shot the ball pretty good from outside and found all the cutters and open people we didn’t last night,” explained Keifer, after his team assisted on 24 of the 32 field goals.
“We had tremendous execution. I mean (from night to night) it’s teenage boys. If you can figure it out in that respect let me know,” Keifer joked. “But we’re excited about our performance tonight.”
That lead grew to its biggest point in the fourth when a couple of Ethan Loeffler buckets gave Evergreen an 80-31 margin before the Redmen’s Bryan Stenson went on a 13 point, last stanza scoring binge to close the final gap.
Stenson’s 17 points led Fostoria while Aneas Cousin got 12.
Every Evergreen starter hit double figures with Loeffler leading the way with 19. Lumbrezer accumulated a triple-double with 16 points, 10 boards and 10 assists while playing just three quarters. The 6’3” senior also blocked four shots.
Brighton got 14 and added 12 rebounds, while Hudik also had 14. Borojevich had 13 on 6 of 7 shooting.
In all, the Vikings went 32 of 53 from the floor, compared to 21 for 57 for Fostoria.
Evergreen had nine turnovers and just four in the first three quarters. The Redmen committed 13.
Evergreen is now 7-1 and will host Jones Academy Saturday before beginning NWOAL play next week with a home game against Liberty Center.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org