Evergreen broke away from a 21-20 lead, suing the same formula that has worked all year, a big run, to knock off highly touted Rossford, 49-38 Saturday.
“Well it was typical Saturday afternoon basketball,” said victorious coach John Langenderfer. “And in 11 years I don’t know if we’ve played a good Saturday afternoon game, but the kids did what we had to do defensively and got the job done and we move on. We’re going to see the them again hopefully in a couple weeks in the sectional final so we’ll be out to get them again.”
That strong defensive performance was needed, as Evergreen shot an icy 16-53 from the floor, including an uncharacteristic 1-15 from the three-point line in the first half.
“We still had the lead at that point,” said Langenderfer. “And we are usually a pretty good three point shooting team, so I figured we’d get a couple sooner or later.”
Rossford had taken a 13-11 first quarter lead behind six point from Cheyenne Davis, but Haili Mossing scored nine of the Vikings 10 second quarter points, and Evergreen stuffed the Bulldogs, allowing just five points in the stanza to take a 21-18 lead at the break.
After Rossford’s Julie Hotz scored off a loose ball to open the third, the Vikes rattled off 12 of the next 15 points to take a double-digit lead.
Mossing scored the first eight, hitting a jumper on a great feed from Hannah Machacek, then getting the next six inside.
Kendalyn Noe swished a pair from the foul line and Shawna Siefker hit a floater from the key to turn Evergreen’s 21-20 advantage, into a 33-23 game with 2:34 left in the third.
Hotz scored four straight for Rossford in the fourth, but Noe hit back-to-back triples within 20 seconds of each other to kill any chance of a Bulldog comeback, elevating the Viking lead to 43-31 with 5:13 to go.
“Give Rossford credit,” explained Langenderfer. “They’re bigger than us and they are pesky and hard to play against. It wasn’t the prettiest win we’ve had but it was still a win.”
Mossing’s 23 led all scorers in the game. Noe added 11 including a trio of triples for Evergreen, now 15-4.
Rossford (12-5) was paced by Hotz with 13.