|Crestview boys control St. John’s|
|Monday, January 20, 2014 12:00 AM|
By LARRY HEIING
CONVOY — The good news for St. John’s boys basketball coach Aaron Elwer is that the grueling 5-games-in-8-days segment, combined with school finals, is over.
The bad news is that the Blue Jays boys is in the midst of a 3-game losing streak and tired after Saturday night’s 49-34 non-league loss at “The Castle.”
What was billed as an exciting mega-game with both the junior varsity and varsity squads from the girls and boys programs alternating contests ended with St. John’s heading back home with no victories.
The boys game was the last of the rescheduled dates due to the football playoffs and the girls game was a weather-related makeup, with St. John’s athletic director Todd Schulte explaining “we had nowhere else to put the boys game on the schedule, so we came up with the idea to play all four games together.”
The Knights are undefeated and the number one team in Division IV and showed why. The Knights opened the scoring on a 3-pointer from Conner Lautzenheiser, followed by a bucket inside by Tyson Bolenbaugh, and never looked back. Junior Andy Grothouse got the Jays on the board with a driving bucket over two Crestview defenders but the Knights went on a 9-0 scoring spree, leading to an Elwer timeout to regroup down 13-2. Fellow Blue Jay junior Tyler Conley scored inside after the timeout to end the offensive drought. Aaron Hellman entered the game for the Jays and popped a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter but the locals still trailed 18-10.
The Jays exhibited their tough man-to-man defense in the second stanza. After Grothouse made a free throw, Evan Hays stole the Crestview pass at midcourt and laid it in at the other end, forcing Knight coach Jeremy Best to call time. Conley made it a 4-point game with a free throw but the Knights scored the last six points of the half to lead 24-14 at the half.
The Jays came out in the second half attacking the basket underneath. Senior Ryan Koester was fouled on a shot inside and made both charity tosses. After a Crestview miss, Conley found a streaking Koester inside for the bucket and the lead was down to 24-18. Crestview didn’t make a single shot from the field in the third quarter and the Jays began to claw closer. Hays found a cutting Grothouse on an inbounds pass for the easy layup. Crestview was held scoreless in the half until Isaiah Simerman made a free throw after four minutes had ticked off the Ray Etzler Gymnasium clock. The Knights got their only other points of the quarter on two free throws from Damian Helm to lead 27-20 heading to the final eight minutes.
Helm continued to score in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter with two triples and the lead went to 13.
“Damian really stepped up for us in the final period,” Best noted.
Luckily for the Blue Jays, they got in the bonus so they could score without using up valuable time. Conley and Hays made both ends of their 1-and-1s to bring the Crestview lead to single digits at 33-24. Helm continued his offensive outburst with a 3-point play on a shot in the lane. Hays tried to lead the Blue Jays back with a driving basket between defenders, followed by a acrobatic move for two, and his defense forced a turnover that forced Best to call timeout with 2:43 remaining.
Trailing by nine points, the Jays were forced to foul. Lautzenheiser missed the front end of a 1-and-1, the Knights’ only miss of the quarter from the charity stripe. Grothouse hit a long 3-pointer and hit another three later in the period but it wasn’t enough. Crestview was a perfect 12-of-12 free throws in the final minutes to secure the victory.
“We had a great start to the game and a great fourth quarter,” Best added. “We made foul shots when it counted in the end after missing some in the first half. St. John’s played great defense, especially in the third period, but our defense was pretty good, too.”
After shooting only 34 percent from the field against New Knoxville, including 8-of-33 from 3-point range the night before, St. John’s shot 11-of-33 from field (4-of-14 3-pointers) for 33.3 percent. Leader for the Jays was Grothouse’s 11 points and fe3llow junior Hays chipped in eight points.
“Crestview’s defense forced us to take uncharacteristic shots,” Elwer added. “They forced us to execute at a high level against a physical and strong team.”
The Knights made 13-of-27 field goals for a respectable 48 percent shooting average, led in scoring by Helm with 22 points and Bolenbaugh added 11.
A big difference in the game was foul shots. Crestview had 25 attempts, making 19 (76%). Meanwhile, St. John’s was 8-of-12 (66.7%) from the charity stripe.
St. John’s did win the battle on the boards with 18 rebounds, while Crestview had 16. Turnovers were low, even with great defenses by both squads, with St. John’s committing 10 miscues and Crestview only nine.
Crestview takes its undefeated record against Shawnee at home Tuesday night.
The next action for the 7-4 Blue Jays is Friday night in a MAC matchup at St. Henry.
ST. JOHN’S (34)
Andy Grothouse 4-1-11, Evan Hays 3-2-8, Eric Clark 0-2-2, Ben Wrasman 0-0-0, Aaron Hellman 2-0-6, Ryan Koester 1-2-4, Alex Odenweller 0-0-0,Tyler Conley 1-1-3, Jake Csukker 0-0-0. Totals 11-8/12-34.
Preston Zaleski 0-1-1, Cam Etzler 1-4-6, Connor Lautzenheiser 1-4-7, Damian Helm 6-7-22, Isaiah Simerman 0-2-2, Tyson Bolenbaugh 5-1-11. Totals:13-19/25-49.
Score by Quarters:
St. John’s 10 4 6 14 - 34
Crestview 18 6 3 22 - 49
Three-point goals: St. John’s, Grothouse 2, Hellman 2; Crestview, Helm 3, Lautzenheiser.
ST. JOHN’S (29)
Gage Seffernick 4-2-12, Aaron Reindel 0-0-0, Josh Warnecke 1-0-3, Robby Saine 1-2-4, Jaret Jackson 1-1-4, Owen Baldauf 1-0-2, Austin Heiing 2-0-4. Totals 10-5/8-29.
Dylan Grandstaff 4-0-9, Cody Mefferd 7-6-21, Cyler Miller 0-1-1, Nate Owens 4-0-9, Braden Van Cleve 3-3-9. Totals 18-10/18-49.
Score by Quarters:
St. John’s 5 8 8 8 - 29
Crestview 12 22 6 9 - 49
Three-point goals: St. John’s, Seffernick 2, Warnecke, Jackson; Crestview, Grandstaff, Mefferd, Owens.