We’ve said it before, sometimes basketball can be such a simple game to analyze.
In this case it was one team making one more big play than the other.
After DJ Newman hit a monumental three at the end of regulation to force overtime, Evan Lumbrezer’s pick-pocket steal and score was followed up by RJ Shunck going 2-2 from the foul line with 15.5 seconds left on the clock to give Evergreen a 48-46 win over Archbold Tuesday in Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball.
After starting 3-7, the Vikings are now even at 8-8 while Archbold falls to 12-6.
Each team has two league losses and trail unbeaten Swanton. With the result, the Bulldogs secure at least a share of the NWOAL crown.
“I thought we did a real nice job at Edon (a 42-37 Viking win last week),” Evergreen Coach Jerry Keifer said. “Our bigs were better, we moved the ball well, we ran offense. We decided tonight to switch all the screens and not play zone like we did last year (an Archbold runaway win).
“The kids played well; this is a great win for us moving forward. We have six games in a 10 day period and we can get on a roll before the tournament.”
The Vikes hit their first six shots to jump out to a 12-3 lead.
Eli Keifer buried a triple on an inside-out game from Shunck, then Shunck scored twice in tight while Lumbrezer hit a three-ball and foul line jumper.
The Streaks roared back as Alex Roth stuck a long triple along with a forray to the rim, and Newman hit twice from the paint to bring the Streaks to 14-12 at the quarter.
Gavin Bailey’s bucket with 3:40 to go in the half gave Archbold their first lead at 18-16, and Lumbrezer and Roth traded hoops to the break as the Streaks maintained their two point lead.
Lumbrezer’s steal and score knotted the game 20 ticks into the third, then Ethan Loeffler found Brock Hudik cutting to the rim to regain an Evergreen lead at 24-22.
Newman’s three-point play put the Streaks back up, but Hudik answered with a drive and an and-one to give the Vikings a 29-27 margin.
“The seven points we got from Brock was really big,” Keifer said of his hard-nosed senior guard. “The five rebounds he had were huge, I mean that’s a good game for him. I didn’t want to take him off the floor, the point he scored in the third, then in the fourth quarter, every rebound was his.”
Lumbrezer’s bucket off Tyson Woodring’s steal with a second left in the third put the Vikes ahead 35-31.
A goal-tending call gave Tyler Hurst one basket and Roth turned the corner and got to the rim for another to bring the Streaks back to a 36-35 deficit with 4:19 left.
Lumbrezer found Shunck for a layup and again Hudik came up big knocking down one and the bonus to push the Evergreen lead to 40-35.
Roth and Shunck traded hoops, then Newman took over.
After going 2-2 from the stripe, the senior three-sport star scored off an Evergreen turnover with 42.7 left.
Again Lumbrezer hit Shunck for a layup with 22 seconds on the clock but Newman dropped the big one.
Under plenty of heat, the 6’1” senior rose and stuck a 25-footer with 2.9 on the clock to force an extra session.
Newman gave Archbold the lead 46 seconds into the fifth period but that was the last Archbold tally of the night.
After a Viking misfire, Lumbrezer again came up with a huge defensive play, again with a steal and layup to knot the game with 1:19 to go.
A jump ball call gave the Vikings a shot and when Shunck was fouled going to the rim, the 6’6” senior hit all net to give the Vikings the lead.
Archbold had one last try when Jayden Seiler was fouled going to the bucket with 4.8 on the clock but his first missed.
Lumbrezer batted the rebound away on the intentional second miss, then beat everyone to the ball and threw it toward the Evergreen basket, a move that ran out the clock.
“I’m just fired up about the way we played tonight,” expressed Keifer. “It’s actually how I thought we could play at the beginning of the year. This is how I thought our season was going to be, with all the injuries and whatnot it hasn’t turned out that way. But we have a chance to get on a roll here.”
The Vikings committed 16 turnovers compared to eight by Archbold.
However, Evergreen shot 62 percent from the floor while the Streaks were at 45 percent.
Lumbrezer and Shunck each had 17 points for the Vikes.
Newman had a game-high of 18 including the last nine Archbold points. Roth added 15.
Evergreen hosts Bryan Friday then travels to Fayette on Saturday.
Archbold plays at Swanton Friday night and Napoleon on Saturday.