Vikings race past Northwood, 68-56

By Joe Blystone - For the Expositor and Enterprise

NORTHWOOD — A wise and inventive younger man once said…”why settle for just the steak when you can get the lobster too?”

After putting the clamps on Fostoria defensively in a close win earlier in the week, it took all of 18 seconds for Evergreen to get on an offensive roll, blazing out to a 25-point lead before settling for a 68-56 win over Northwood Thursday in boys hoops.

The Vikings are now 5-3 on the season.

“We did pretty well playing fast tonight,” expressed Viking coach Jerry Keifer. “We turned them over and got the ball up the floor for easy baskets and we did a nice job finding the open man inside and out.”

Tyson Woodring’s swipe-and—score-and-1 with 7:42 on the clock was only the beginning of a first half where the Vikings shot a smoking 62 percent.

Every Viking starter scored in the opening quarter as Evergreen went up 15-6.

Northwood’s Kalen Cluckey kept the Rangers in somewhat of contact knocking home three triples and scoring 15 second quarter points.

Problem was Evergreen still extended their lead.

Ryder Hudik hit a baseline jumper and a triple, Woodring canned an angle three-ball, Drew Gillen had yet another steal and score, Riley Dunbar laid one in off a back cut and Eli Keifer topped off the quarter by drilling three straight from long range to give the Vikes a 40-26 halftime lead.

Dunbar’s putback starting the third began a 16-5 burst that included a Blade Walker jumper, Walker Lumbrezer’s lay in off a Keifer feed and Ben Ruetz’ triple to blow the game open at 56-31.

Walker and Mason Emmitt hit 3-pointers in the fourth to keep the margin at 25 before the Rangers made a late run in the last three minutes when the Vikes first eight players called it a night.

Keifer led Evergreen’s balanced attack with 16 points and seven assists. Woodring had 11 along with eight assists. Gillen had 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Vikings had 20 assists on their 29 baskets and committed just nine turnovers.

Cluckey led Northwood with 27 points.

Ethan Clair hit 14 of his 17 in the last four minutes, including four triples.

Northwood hit 12-22 from outside the arc, six of those late in the fourth quarter. The Rangers were guilty of 19 turnovers, 14 of those came on Viking steals.

Evergreen travels to Delta (6-1) this Thursday to face the Panthers in a league contest.

By Joe Blystone

For the Expositor and Enterprise