|Knights grind out win over Wildcat boys|
|Friday, December 20, 2013 9:34 PM|
DELPHOS — Jefferson head boys basketball coach Marc Smith was well aware of the talented Crestview 5 that invaded “The Stage” of Jefferson Middle School Friday night in Northwest Conference action.
He also knew that the Knights might be a little more motivated as they learned that a varsity cheerleader, Chelsi Siefker, was involved in a mid-afternoon accident that has left her on life support.
All that combined for a 56-45 Crestview win.
“We just heard about it on the way over and it’s tough news when you’re getting ready for a game,” Crestview coach Jeremy Best acknowledged. “I think we had a bit more emotion than normal coming in here — a very tough place to play to begin with — and we’re all just praying that she gets all the needed medical attention and recovers.”
After the game, both teams and fans gathered around mid-court and bowed their heads in prayer.
The Wildcats (3-4, 0-2 NWC) came out in a 2-3 zone to try and slow down the Knights (5-0, 2-0), as well as employing a slower-paced tempo. It worked in the first half.
“We usually want to up-tempo the game but with their athletes and ability to score, we felt that slowing it down gave our kids the best chance to compete,” Smith explained. “It turned into a traditional Crestview grinder. With Crestview, though, it all starts with their defense. They are so solid in everything: knocking down the cutters, getting backside help, applying good ball pressure, all of it.”
The Knights were trying to contain Jefferson’s top two scorers — senior Ross Thompson and sophomore Trey Smith — and the combined defensive efforts in their switching man-to-man allowed Smith only a 3 in the first period. Thompson, however, netted six markers. On the other end, senior Damian Helm matched Thompson’s counters before a 15-foot baseline fallaway from the right corner by Delphos freshman Jace Stockwell (8 markers, 4 dimes) that beat the horn accounted for a 12-11 Crestview lead after eight minutes.
The Knights tried to pull away from the Red and White the second stanza, moving out to a 24-16 edge on an inside basket by Helm (16 markers, 4 boards) midway through. However, the hosts battled back — despite Thompson picking up his second and third fouls (on the bench at 4:37) — to within 26-23 on a transition layin by junior Nick Fitch at 1:49, forcing Best to call a quick stoppage. A pair of free throws by Tyler Bolenbaugh (18 counters, 5 caroms, 3 assists) at 1:27 — also forcing Trey Smith to the bench with his third infraction and finishing off his 10-point period — allowed for a 28-23 halftime lead by the guests.
The Wildcats were within three twice in the first minute of the third canto — at 28-25 (Thompson layin) and 30-27 on a Fitch basket. However, the Knights started to get more distance, using five markers by sophomore Connor Lautzenheiser (10 points) and four from Bolenbaugh, to win the rest of the canto 12-2 — Fitch’s drive at 1:16 the only Wildcat score — and assume a 42-29 bulge on a triple from the right wing by senior Isaiah Simerman with 9.0 ticks on the clock.
“That spurt right there put us in a big hole. We were in trouble then because we had to go man,” Smith added. “We played hard the whole way; if we can compete with a team like Crestview — I think they are capable of ending up in Columbus and I told Coach Best that — we can win a lot of games. We didn’t turn it over many times and they didn’t lead to easy points. We held them down defensively except for that spurt.”
The closest the hosts could get in the finale was 11 — the final score — on a Smith triple late in the stanza. Jefferson scored the majority of its points from the line: 11-of-12 (11-of-14 overall for 78.6%) but Crestview netted 5-of-8 shots and 4-of-4 singles (8-of-9 total for 88.9%) to keep its distance.
In sum, both teams executed their offense very well despite good defense: Crestview shot 22-of-43 (4-of-14 long range) for 51.2 percent and committing nine turnovers; Jefferson 15-of-30 from the floor (4-of-10 downtown) for 50 percent and 10 miscues.
The rebounding was about even: 20-18 (7-4 offensive) for Crestview, with Thompson’s six leading all boarders and Smith (11 points) four.
Both units had 15 fouls.
“We knew Jefferson was going to be strong, tough and physical; they have some good size and they are going to make it tough on you,” Best added. “I thought the defensive job we did on Smith was really good and that’s not easy. We had some good size on him for a while with Tyson (6-5) and rotated some smaller guys on him. Our biggest concern was not giving up layups trying to help too much.”
In junior varsity action, Crestview improved to 4-1 (2-0) with a 56-37 victory.
Junior Nate Owens and sophomore Cody Mefferd netted 14 each for the visitors and freshman Dylan Grandstaff added 10.
For the Wildcats (5-2, 0-2), freshman Drew Reiss was the lone double-digit scorer with 14.
Jefferson has less than 18 hours to bounce back as they host Fairview today with a 2 p.m. JV start; Crestview is off until Friday as they host Miller City.
Preston Zaleski 1-0-3, Cam Etzler 1-4-6, Connor Lautzenheiser 4-0-10, Luke Gibson 0-0-0, Damian Helm 8-0-16, Brock Rolsten 0-0-0, Isaiah Simerman 1-0-3, Mitchell Rickard 0-0-0, Tyson Bolenbaugh 7-4-18. Totals 18-4-8/9-56.
Jace Stockwell 3-2-8, Drew Reiss 0-0-0, Austin Jettinghoff 1-2-5, Ross Thompson 6-2-15, Trey Smith 2-5-11, Tyler Mox 0-0-0, Nick Fitch 3-0-6, Dalton Hicks 0-0-0, Grant Wallace 0-0-0, Tyler Rice 0-0-0. Totals 11-4-11/14-42.
Score by Quarters:
Crestview 12 16 14 14 - 56
Jefferson 12 15 13 16 - 56
Three-point goals: Crestview, Co. Lautzenheiser 2, Zaleski, Simerman; Jefferson, Smith 2, Jettinghoff, Thompson.
Isaiah Kline 2-0-4, Tyler Riggenbach 1-1-3, Derek Biro 0-0-0, Dylan Grandstaff 3-2-10, Caleb Bagley 0-0-0, Cody Mefferd 7-0-14, Cyler Miller 1-0-2, Tanner Crowle 0-0-0, Nate Owens 6-0-14, Spencer Rolsten 0-0-0, Braden Van Cleave 3-1-7, Jacob Painter 0-0-0, Luke Gerardot 1-0-2. Totals 20-4-4/10-56.
Drew Reiss 4-6-14, Josh Teman 0-1-1, Cole Arroyo 0-0-0, Alex Neubert 0-2-2, Ryan Wittler 0-0-0, Ryan Goergens 3-0-6, Kyle Wreede 0-0-0, Brandan Herron 0-0-0, Christian Stemen 0-0-0, Grant Wallace 3-1-7, Austin Blanton 1-1-3, Nick Long 0-0-0, Drake Schmitt 1-2-4. Totals 12-0-13/25-37.
Score by Quarters:
Crestview 13 15 11 17 - 56
Jefferson 3 14 10 10 - 37
Three-point goals: Crestview, Grandstaff 2, Owens 2; Jefferson, none.