There has been a saying the last few years around Evergreen that uses two words: Create Chaos.
Those two words were certainly prophetic as Evergreen raced out to a 23-point second quarter lead, then had to hang on for dear life in the second half in a turnover-filled 61-54 win over Lake Friday in the girls basketball opener.
The Vikings committed 32 turnovers, including a whopping 22 in the second half, but countered by harrassing the Flyers into 30 mistakes of their own.
The Vikings’ trapping defense forced eight Lake turnovers in the first quarter — most in the last six minutes — that lead to a 20-2 Viking burst.
Three times Addie Ricker got inside for scores after Flyer miscues, Hannah Wilson had a rolling one-hander, Kennedy Emmitt rained a pair of triples and Lucy Serna capped the burst with a putback hoop for a 22-6 lead after a quarter.
Ricker and Serna each scored a three-point play, then Brooke Sintobin scored on a fast break pass from Emmitt off yet another turnover to give Evergreen a 33-10 advantage with 4:28 to go in the half.
“That was one of our goals this season to start strong,” Viking coach Brittaney Cymbolin said. “Lake is tough and we knew they weren’t going to give up and back down.”
Then just that quick the barrage of points stopped.
Over the last half of the quarter, Evergreen went without a field goal, but still led 36-20 at the break.
Emmitt found Serna inside to start the second half, but the Vikings wouldn’t score again for the next five and a half minutes.
During that time, Evergreen coughed up the rock like a cat coughing up furballs and the Flyers began a major comeback.
Sydney Stanley began a big run with a scoop and score, Elise Staczek drilled a triple and scored off a steal, Mary Enright scored off a rebound off another turnover, and Jesse Materni capped a 13-0 run with a score off another of 13 Evergreen turnovers in the third quarter, as the Flyers closed to 38-33.
Brookelyn Gleckler’s three-ball off another Emmitt assist regained an eight-point lead heading into the fourth when with all the chaos on the floor, Ricker became a stablizing factor.
The 5’9” sophomore scored four straight buckets in the span of two minutes to counter a pair of Stanley triples, pushing the Vikes back up double digits at 53-43 with 4:25 left.
“Once they started to make their comeback we had to stay consistent with what we talked about offensively,” said Cymbolin of Ricker’s play in the fourth. “We kind of go where she goes. She is strong taking the ball to the rack. She definitely took the team and them on her back and said ‘let’s go win a ball game.’”
Serna hit a tough foul line jumper, then scored a stickback off the glass to help hold off a late Lake run that included two more Stanley hoops.
Ricker had 19 points and Serna 18 for Evergreen.
Stanley scored all 18 of her points in the second half after sitting much of the first with three fouls. Staczek had 15 and Enright 12 for the Flyers.