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Published: Friday, 3/9/2007

Evergreen shocks Archbold in hot shooting 4th quarter

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
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Roughly three months ago Archbold handed Evergreen a lopsided 60-36 loss.

Last night, the Vikings got their revenge.

Evergreen made almost all of its shots in the fourth quarter to shock the Blue Streaks 57-52 in the second Division III district semifinal at the Waite Fieldhouse.

The Vikings, now 16-6 on the season, will face Northwest Ohio Athletic League rival Patrick Henry for the district championship tomorrow at 7 p.m. Archbold, ranked third in the final state poll, ends its season with a 19-2 record.

Evergreen made 4-of-6 shots from the field and 9-of-12 from the foul line in that final quarter. The Vikings' success came from their belief that they were better than that team Archbold had shellacked in December.

"Right from the beginning we believe we could [win]," said Corey Truckor, who led Evergreen with 16 points.

Archbold coach Doug Krauss said this Viking team was far different from the one his team beat handily the first time.

"I think coach [Jerry] Keifer did a great job from that point on," Krauss said. "[In that first game] we didn't even guard some of their kids. I think they set a tone [last night] when [6-8 Brock] Bates stepped out and hit a three on the first play of the game."

Keifer said his team entered last night's contest with a different mind-set than the first encounter.

"This time we came in after a big win against Whitmer and then a win in our sectional game," he explained. "Last time we were coming in after a devastating loss to Wauseon.

"We knew exactly what they were going to do, we had a game plan, and we executed it extremely well."

One part of that Viking game plan was to try and limit the damage by Gene Goering. It didn't seem to be working the first half as Goering scored 19 of his team's 28 points, but in the second the junior had only eight to finish with a game-high 27.

"We didn't do anything different," Keifer said. "We didn't change our game plan in any way whatsoever. I think [Goering] just got tired of making shots.

No one else besides Goering finished in double figures for Archbold. Bates finished with 14 points behind Truckor, while Andrew Pinkelman added 12.

Archbold, which led 28-24 at the break, pushed the advantage to 38-30 before Evergreen switched to a full-court press and scored nine straight points late in the third period.

"We thought [the game] was going to get away from us," Keifer said to explain the switch to a press. "We just needed to make a change. We didn't get a turnover, but they came down and took two quick shots. We took two good shots, and all of a sudden it was a two-point game.

"We didn't use it to steal the ball, but to make them do something different and put it in someone else's hand. And it worked pretty well."

It also helped that the Vikings became very efficient on offense, making 11-of-18 shots (61.1 percent) in the second half to finish 21-for-40 (52.5 percent) for the game.



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