Swanton scored the first four points of the game on buckets from Katie Floyd, however, Evergreen would claim the lead later in the first quarter and go on to win by a 37-29 final in non-league girls basketball Thursday in Swanton.
“We know every single time we go to Swanton that the kids are gonna play hard and it’s a rivalry game. And I credit them (Swanton) for all the hard work that they put in,” said Evergreen coach Brittaney Cymbolin. “But we talked about being consistent. We talked about trying to remain in control of the game; trying to not fall into the chaos. Keep in our heads, do what we do. And, I thought the kids did a good job of running our offense, working the fastbreak, sitting down on defense, do everything that we worked on all week. I think that’s what kind of helped us a little bit, is that consistency in our mindset.”
As mentioned, Floyd had all the Bulldogs’ points in the opening stanza. The Vikings were led by Ella Burgermeister and Addison Ricker who each pegged 3-pointers in the frame, helping them to an 8-4 advantage in the early going.
Evergreen as a team hit five triples on the night.
“I’m not the (coach) that tells the kid that they can’t shoot,” Cymbolin said. “I like to tell all my kids that they’re a part of our offense, so we work the ball inside-out, outside-in. We really do try to get everybody involved, so different people stepped up tonight. Ella Burgermeister is a sophomore, who, is normally a JV player and she’s been getting a couple minutes for us here and there. She came up huge for us tonight. I think Ella was a key factor in this win tonight. She’s just a good kid that works hard.”
Kennedy Emmitt of Evergreen and Floyd traded buckets in the early minutes of quarter two, then Burgermeister’s three extended the Viking lead at 13-6 at the 6:20 mark.
However, Swanton pulled closer by halftime, as Sammi Nelson scored inside and Alaina Pelland made a bucket on a dump off from Floyd, getting the Bulldogs within 13-10 at the break.
The Vikings went up by even more in the third, grabbing a 23-16 advantage with under three minutes left in the period. But the Dogs battled back as Peighton Manning sank a 3-pointer, then she turned a Swanton steal into points, bringing them within 23-21 with 31 ticks left in the quarter.
“Peighton did a great job coming in and knocking down a couple of 3’s in the first half with Sammi Nelson’s 3 to keep us close. When Peighton gets going she can hit those outside shots,” said Swanton coach Eric Oakes.
Evergreen ended the quarter on a high note when Emmitt drilled an open three from the corner that put the Vikes back up five after three.
They furthered their momentum in the beginning seconds of the fourth when, with Swanton on defense, Floyd tried to save a ball from going out of bounds but the save attempt made its way into the hands of Ricker who laid it in for a 28-21 Viking lead.
With under three minutes to play the Vikings went ahead by double digits (35-25) following three of four from the foul line by Ricker, plus a Lucy Serna putback on Ricker’s lone miss at the line during the stretch.
The Dogs could get no closer than seven in the final two minutes plus.
“Was happy with the effort most of the night from the girls; thought we did good things,” explained Oakes. “We were able to get the ball (to) the rim a lot at the beginning but not able to finish. Think (if) we hit a couple more early might be a different outcome. We obviously didn’t shoot the ball (well) from the outside, going 3 for 24 from 3-point range. Credit Evergreen, they hit the shots that night, shot it well from outside.”
Swanton was led in scoring by Manning with 10 points. Floyd kicked in seven points.
The Dogs got back on track on Saturday with a 41-22 win at home over Bowsher.
At the forefront for the Vikes was Emmitt with 12. The second-year player is attempting to step in for Evergreen’s do-it-all point guard from a year ago, Bekah Bowser, who won many accolades last season including first team All-NWOAL and honorable mention All-Ohio.
“Kennedy really took to Bekah Bowser last year, and Bekah Bowser is working with her at how to be a point guard. I think she’s done a great job of stepping up and trying to fulfill Bekah’s shoes — which, are pretty big,” noted Cymbolin. “But she worked her butt off all summer in order to get the playing time that she is and to lead our team. I’m super proud of how she’s doing so far as a sophomore.”
Evergreen was also back in action Saturday, winning at Otsego by a 38-22 final.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.