Evergreen fought back from a 16-point second quarter deficit against unbeaten Northern Lakes League power Springfield, but couldn’t get all the way over the top, dropping a 53-49 decision Tuesday night to fall to 4-1 on the season.
“We battled,” said Viking coach John Langenderfer. “We gave ourselves a couple chances at the end but we didn’t get a call at the end and then didn’t get a shot to fall, but hey when you get down 16 to a team like that usually the door closes, so give our kids credit for coming back the way they did.”
Springfield used a lethal combination of size, with the smallest Blue Devil starter being 5’9”, and speed, mostly from their super quick point guard Jewel Rollins.
The senior scored seven of her nine first quarter points as the Blue Devils went on a 9-0 spurt to go ahead 14-5 near the end of the first quarter.
Alyssa Noe’s triple got the Vikes within 14-8, but that would be as close as Evergreen would get on the board for some time.
Erica Myers’ score inside just before the first quarter horn doubled the score on the Vikings at 16-8 and Springfield added on from there.
Three straight fastbreak hoops from Rollins and Myers shot Springfield on top 22-9, and they kept rolling from that point, going up as large as 33-17 on Rachel Bucher’s run out basket 49 seconds before halftime.
Evergreen made an uncharacteristic 3 of 6 from the foul line (and only 5 of 10 in the half) to get within 33-20 at the half, then only shrank the lead by a bucket at 47-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
Rollins split a pair at the line to open the fourth and Rachael Noe lit the match to the Vikings rally with an NBA length triple with 6:57 left.
Rollins again hit 1 of 2 free throws to keep the Devils lead at double figures, 49-39, but Evergreen exploded for a 10-0 burst in two minutes to knot the score.
Eden Eisel hit both ends of a one-and-one, Rachael Noe scored off the offensive glass, then Haili Mossing rammed home back-to-back triples, the last with 2:22 to go, to tie the game.
Springfield ate up a minute before Rollins again went to the line, and again she only hit 1 of 2, but Mossing was sent sprawling to the floor as she tried to circle the left side, and the ball rolled out of bounds.
No foul was called on the play, however, after the Devils regained possession, Rollins again only split a pair from the line with 18 seconds left.
The Blue Devils ran out to challenge any Viking three-point shooter, and Eisel’s skip pass found Kaela Fauble for an 8-footer from the side of the key, but the senior center’s shot rattled out and Myers went 2 for 2 from the line to put the game away despite Springfield not hitting a field goal in the fourth quarter and only 6 for 10 from the charity stripe.
For the game Evergreen committed 14 turnovers, but only three after halftime, compared to the Devils 12.
The Vikings actually outrebounded the bigger Blue Devils 26-23 but shot just 9 of 16 from the free throw stripe.
Rollins led all scorers with 25 for Springfield who upped their record to 6-0. Mossing and Alyssa Noe each had 16 for the Vikings.
Evergreen now travels to Patrick Henry Friday night for an important NWOAL game against the Patriots.
Joe Blystone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org