There is a difference between losing and getting beat.
Losing means you packed it in, gave up, didn’t play well and allowed your opponent to dominate you without a fight.
Getting beat means someone had to make more plays than you did to win the game.
Top-ranked Archbold made those big plays in a late second quarter burst to take a lead that grew to as much as 19, then made one more to hold off a huge fourth quarter Evergreen rally to claim a 58-48 win Friday to go to 6-0 in the NWOAL and 20-0 overall.
Archbold can stake the league boys basketball title outright by beating Swanton this Friday night. Evergreen closes league play on the road at Bryan.
The Blue Streaks took a 12-11 first quarter lead thanks to a pair of baskets from Austin Wiemken, a three-pointer from Jeron Williams and Elijah Zimmerman’s three-point play.
The Vikings rallied in the second.
Nic Borojevich’s triple from the corner knotted the score at 14-14.
Mason Loeffler’s basket gave Evergreen a two point lead with 5:48 left.
After Rigo Ramos hit a pair from the stripe to tie the game, Bryce Hudik stuck a triple from the left corner to give Evergreen a 19-16 lead.
However, Chandler Lumbrezer’s dish inside for what would’ve been a wide open layup was muffed out-of-bounds and Archbold took advantage of an opportunity missed to go on a big run.
Ramos’ basket was followed by back-to-back Williams to Wiemken scores that gave the Blue Streaks a 22-19 lead.
Lumbrezer’s third chance basket off the offensive boards got Evergreen within a point but Ramos threw one in from 30 feet out, then scored on a steal and flush and AJ Mahnke finished the half with a three-point play off a steal to give Archbold a 30-21 halftime lead.
“That was certainly a turning point,” Blue Streak coach Joe Frank said.
“Evergreen was ahead and that 14-2 run at the end of the first was certainly a huge part of the game.”
That lead grew to 16 with 3:04 left in the third as Zimmerman and Ramos accounted for every point in a 9-0 flurry to make it 41-25.
Nate Brighton scored inside again and again to keep Evergreen somewhat in contact, but Williams’ triple and Zimmerman’s slash to the rim gave Archbold their biggest lead, 50-31, with 7:10 left.
However, the Vikings began getting stops and got red-hot on the offensive end.
Hudik hit a bomb from on top, Lumbrezer had a steal-and-score, Brighton hit one from way out and Loeffler scored on a dish from Hudik to make it 52-43 with 4:46 left.
Loeffler’s long triple got Evergreen one better at 54-46 with just over three minutes to play but with a chance to get within six or five, Williams came up with the game-changing play of the night with a steal and coast-to-coast score to regain a 10 point lead.
“I’ll tell you what, I give all the credit in the world to those Evergreen kids,” Frank said after. “They battled their rear ends off. They were down 19 and they could’ve packed it in and give credit to coach (Jerry) Keifer and his team.”
Both teams were more than efficient on offense as Archbold shot 24 of 41 and Evergreen was 19 of 31.
Neither team missed a free throw.
Evergreen was guilty of 12 turnovers, three of those crucial and the most vital was the steal by Williams in the midst of the Viking rally. Archbold had six turnovers.
Ramos led Archbold with 18 points. Wiemken had 14 and Zimmerman 13.
Brighton also had 18 for Evergreen on just nine field goal attempts. Loeffler added 13.
The Vikings bounced back with a 60-46 win at Pettisville Saturday. The Streaks held off Defiance at the Thunder Dome, 51-46.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org