The Evergreen Plainsmen got a big win and big boost to their confidence Tuesday night, rallying to beat first-place Union.
The Plainsmen, who began the season 7-0 but then dropped five of seven, handed Union its first loss of the 4A Greater St. Helens League schedule, 58-57.
Jahmil Johnson scored 20 points, Trey Clark added 14, and Caleb Dressler had eight points and nine rebounds to lead the Plainsmen.
Evergreen did this one with defense, though.
The Plainsmen held Union guards Jordan Chatman and Tanner Nelson to 19 combined points — 30 fewer than the duo scored in a game last week.
Evergreen coach Kelly Blankenship credited Clark, Johnson, Jalen Ballard, Andrew White, and David Shirts for their perimeter defense.
Johnson had nine of his 20 points in the third quarter, when Evergreen cut a 10-point halftime deficit to one point going into the final period.
Clark buried a 3-pointer to tie the game late, then scored on a follow-up in the final minute to put the Plainsmen up by a point.
Both teams missed front ends of 1-and-1 free throws, before the Titans missed on two shots in the final 10 seconds.
Tyler Copp led Union with 13 points. Chatman ended up with 10.
“Losing really reveals some character. It’s been difficult to keep the guys believing, but they’ve stuck together,” Evergreen coach Kelly Blankenship said. “They had a couple good practices. They’re talking like a team. Tonight, they did it together.”
The Plainsmen improved to 4-3 in league play. Union fell to 5-1. Union beat Evergreen easily in the first matchup. The two teams will play again Feb. 3.
EVERGREEN 58, UNION 57
UNION — Kyle Mercer 2, Tyler Copp 13, Dominique Ceaser 0, Brian Cairns 7, Seaver Whalen 8, Tanner Nelson 9, Jordan Chatman 10, Trent Cowan 2, Kaben Humphrey-Butler 6, Gabe Rego 0, Micah Merfeld 0. Totals 23 (6) 5-6 57.
EVERGREEN — Jalen Ballard 0, Ajay Jenkins 0, David Shirts 5, Jahmil Johnson 20, Tre Clark 14, Austin Gurnsey 4, Andrew White 2, Caleb Dressler 8, Thomas Phillips 5. Totals 23 (6) 6-16 58.
Union 14 18 12 13—57
Evergreen 11 11 21 15—58
JV — Union won. C — Union won.