Every coach in America will always find something wrong their team’s execution of the game plan no matter how dominating the performance or how large the margin of victory. For Brian Ziegler, however, head coach of Archbold’s Lady Blue Streaks, he may have to watch the game film of his team’s 76-33 dismantling of the Evergreen Vikings several times to find something not to his liking.
The overwhelming win on Saturday at Lake High School captured the DIII District Championship and sent the Streaks to the regional tournament. Not only was this contest a blowout, the average winning margin in all four tournament games this season has been 40.5 points. What’s not to like about that?
“It’s an awesome team. The hard work and commitment they put into the game and the pre-game work and the game plan is what put us here,” said Ziegler. “They know what their job is and each one has a role and they accept it. They have great chemistry and unselfishness and that’s what makes good teams.”
In the Lady Vikings, Archbold was facing a league opponent they had played on the road earlier in the year and had escaped with a hard fought four-point win. This time there would be little doubt of the outcome almost from the opening tip. Using a ball-trapping defense and a fast-break offense, the Streaks jumped out to a 10-0 lead less than four minutes into the game and led 20-5 behind Kierstyn Repp’s three treys at the end of the first quarter.
Evergreen was able to pull within 10 at 23-13 after a three-pointer by Abi Borajevich but a 9-0 run by Archbold virtually put the game out of reach. By halftime the lead had swelled to 23 points, 41-18.
The Vikings tried a full court press in the second half that had been successful in their first meeting but the Streaks countered with a weaving passing offense that quickly moved the ball over the half-court line. “We worked on that yesterday and we worked it in the game today,” said senior standout Repp. We got it to the open man, we got it to the middle and we put it on the floor.”
Archbold’s defensive pressure in the forced a number of Viking turnovers in the third quarter leading to easy baskets going the other way. The Streaks put another 23 points on the scoreboard while Evergreen could only match their first quarter total of five and the score was 64-23 with one eight-minute period remaining.
The final quarter was played out with a lot of substitutions on both sides as the Streaks and their fans prepared themselves for the emotional and jubilant celebration that would follow the final buzzer. Repp led all scorers with 19 points and teammates Alyssa Ziegler and Emie Peterson each had 11. With the win Archbold improved their record to 25-1, the only loss coming on the road to Ottawa- Glandorf, the number one ranked team in DII.
The Streaks moved on to the regional tournament to face Liberty Benton on Tuesday evening at Ohio Northern University just after this newspaper went to press.
Bill O’Connell may be reached at email@example.com