Sydney Zirkle’s 23 points leads Wauseon past Evergreen

By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor

It’s been about 35 years since high-scoring Chris Mossing led Evergreen to an NWOAL title with her moves inside and ability to finish at the rim.

Chris Mossing is now Chris Zirkle but daughter Sydney had a big night at mom’s old stomping grounds, as she had 23 points – including 17 in the second half – as Wauseon posted a 51-35 come-from-behind win Thursday over Evergreen to stay in first place in the NWOAL girls basketball race.

“We started moving the ball better in the third quarter,” Indians’ coach Dan Seiler explained after. “Our game is to get the ball down low and we did a much better job toward the end of the first half then the rest of the game.”

Evergreen started out fast as Kennedi Keifer tripled from the deep left wing and Bekah Bowser knocked down two more from outside the arc to give Evergreen a 12-9 lead after the first.

Bowser’s fast break hoop and another from long range by Keifer gave the Vikings a 17-9 margin with 5:50 left in the half.

Hayley Meyer used her size advantage to get inside for a pair of buckets to cut the Vikes’ lead in half but Bowser’s bomb from deep pushed the Vikes back up 21-13 with 3:33 left.

That’s when Zirkle began to flicker with a curl to the rim, then along with a third Meyer hoop inside, the 5’9” senior netted 2-for-2 from the foul line to get the Indians back within 23-21 at the break.

“They sped us up in the first half and they did a really nice job of that,” said Seiler. “We got under control a little bit going into halftime.

“I can’t complain about our first half shots, we got good looks, they just didn’t fall. But I think they made us a little faster than we wanted to be.”

In the third the Indians began right away looking inside and Marisa Seiler scored off a lob 20 seconds into the third to knot the game, then 51 seconds later Chelsie Raabe’s layup gave Wauseon the lead for good.

After Zirkle got inside to put Wauseon ahead 27-23, Jordan Lumbrezer sliced the lead in half with a drive but that was the only field goal Evergreen hit in the third as the Vikings went ice-ball frigid, hitting just 1-for-9.

Meanwhile, Zirkle scored three more times, Seiler got a bucket off an out-of-bounds play and Sam Aeschilman got another in transition to extend the Indians’ advantage to 39-27 at the end of three. The Indians went 8-for-12 from the field in the period.

While the Vikings were going 2-for-15 in the fourth, Wauseon hit the first eight points. Zirkle scored six, making moves in the post to blow the game open at 47-27.

“We came out and took care of the ball better and got it inside,” stated Seiler. “And we are pretty tough when we go to the post.”

While Wauseon was going 12-for-19 in the second half, they also regained control of the glass after being outrebounded in the first half.

After Evergreen held a 14-13 edge at the half, Wauseon dominated the boards 21-10 in the second half.

“That was something we talked about at halftime was that we should be dominating the boards and we weren’t,” expressed Seiler. “I thought we did a lot better job in the second half.”

Bowser led Evergreen with 17 points but had 15 in the first half and had only one field goal attempt in the second.

After starting 8-for-28 from the floor, Wauseon finished with 20-for-47.

It was just the opposite for Evergreen as after going 8-for-22 with five triples in the first half, the Vikings ended up 11-for-46.

Evergreen fell to 10-11 while Wauseon moved to 16-3 and took sole possession of first place in the NWOAL at 5-1.

By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor

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