Like waves from a tsunami, the points kept coming…and coming…and coming.
Twenty-four straight in an eight minute span between the second and third quarters Brittaney Cymbolin’s Evergreen Vikings scored to turn a short deficit into a 22-point lead before having to survive an atrocious fourth quarter foul shooting performance to knock off Delta 50-43 at home in an NWOAL contest Thursday.
“We hit shots,” Cymbolin analyzed after the game. “We talked about it against Fayette two days ago in that we stopped looking at the game as a whole and went back to winning each play. You could hear our kids yelling on the floor, ‘win the play, win the play’. It’s nice because I told our kids if you want to free up Alyssa Noe then you guys have got to step up and hit shots and I think those kids really took the responsibility upon themselves to do that.”
Maddie Mattimore’s two first quarter baskets including a steal and score along with a fastbreak hoop from Mary Miller helped stake the Panthers to a 10-4 lead with 55 seconds left in the stanza.
That’s when Abi Borojevich gave the large Viking contingent a taste of what was to come by draining a long triple at the buzzer to cut that six point lead in half.
Miller went 2 for 2 from the line to start the second, giving the Panthers a 12-7 advantage before Noe brought the Vikes even with a triple and a reverse layup off an out-of-bounds play at the 5:31 mark.
Miller got inside 16 seconds later to put the Panthers on top one last time before Evergreen exploded.
Bailie Sutter scored off the offensive glass, Borojevich nailed another three-ball and Lexie Shipman swished two more from long range around a Borojevich putback to take the Vikings from two points down, to up 25-14 at the break.
What Evergreen took into the locker room they came right back out with as Hannah Herr kept the big run going with a pull up jumper, Shipman hit yet another three-pointer then a layup from Noe, Herr scored off a Delta turnover and Noe capped the 24-point blast on a back cut from Jamie VanLoocke.
“The last two games we have been the most balanced we have been all year,” said Cymbolin. “Again we challenged our kids to hit shots and this is what we have needed.”
Mattimore scored a three-point play then a triple of her own to help the Panthers get back within 40-25 at the end of the third.
Herr’s fastbreak bucket and Noe’s scoop and score countered a pair of Emily Clifton free throws and Hayley Callahan’s offensive rebound hoop three minutes into the fourth to keep the lead at 44-29. Noe’s baseline floater with 2:40 left made it 48-33, before Delta began to chip away thanks to the Vikings’ horror show at the foul line in the fourth quarter.
While Evergreen was going 2 for 9 from the stripe, including three missed front ends of the bonus, two Abby Freeman baskets and another from Mattimore drew Delta closer. But, Grace Sonick’s basket at the buzzer could only bring the Panthers within the seven point final score.
“I think this was a big win for us,” Cymbolin said. “I’ll be honest with you the Liberty Center (39-38) loss really hurt those kids not only because we lost by one, but because we had three kids out with the flu, didn’t even make the trip. And those kids took that hard because they felt responsible, they felt like they didn’t contribute that night. so to step up and get a good win like this was what they needed.”
After starting 3 of 15 from the field in the first quarter, Evergreen shot 17 for 30 the last three.
Delta started 5 for 9 in the first, then was 11 for 36 the rest of the way, including 1 for 12 in the second quarter when the Vikings made their move.
The Panthers were also guilty of 21 turnovers to 15 for Evergreen.
Delta fell to 10-8 after a 48-46 loss at Lake on Saturday. They will host Bryan this Thursday and Holgate Saturday.
Evergreen moved to 10-7 after a sloppy 52-40 win over Hilltop on Saturday as Kelsie Komisarek scored 19 to lead the way for Evergreen.
The Vikings travel to Ottawa Hills tonight and Patrick Henry this Thursday.
Reach Joe Blystone at firstname.lastname@example.org