Despite some good offensive play on Saturday evening, the Indians were unable to put the game away, as Northwestern Tigers erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Mississinewa 45-43.
The Indians played well offensively, led by Connor Wilson’s 21 points, but they allowed the Tigers to hang around throughout the contest.
“Unfortunately, we let up a lot during the game,” Evertts said. “We were up 8-2 early and let them right back in. We were up 17-11 early in the second quarter but they had an 18-17 lead at halftime. We kept going on runs and letting them back in the game.”
Leading by double digits points in the final minute of the fourth quarter, the Indians imploded down the stretch and the Tigers took full advantage.
“We were up 10 points with about 1:03 to go, and we just fell apart,” Evertts said. “We made a lot of silly mistakes. We are just inexperienced. We have five guys playing pretty serious minutes that don’t have a lot of varsity experience, and so we made just a lot of inexperienced mistakes.”
Despite the loss, Wilson had a great game for the Indians, showing off his shooting prowess for the first time this season.
“We kind of thought he would be a pretty good shooting option for us this year,” Evertts said. “He just struggled to hit shots up until [Saturday], and it was really nice to see him get going. He had a lot of threes and gave us a big spark offensively.”
On Friday, the Indians will face a familiar foe in the Oak Hill Golden Eagles. Last time these two teams met, Mississinewa defeated Oak Hill on their way to a Grant Four championship.
The Golden Eagles will be looking for redemption, and Evertts hopes his team will be locked in from the opening tip.
“It’s a big game in our season,” Evertts said. “We are sitting at 2-2 right now, and things aren’t going to be pretty if we are 2-3 after that game. It’s a must win game for us. There is so much on the line for them. I’m sure they are not feeling good after that game last year and they had to sit with that for a year. I hope our guys understand how much this game means to Oak Hill. They are going to give us everything, but we will be okay if we play the way we have been playing and don’t have any mental lapses. We just have to bring the energy early on.”