The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, May. 21, 2019

Crestview beats MVCD, heading to State

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

BOWLING GREEN — Kalen Etzler scored 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead Crestview to a 66-49 Division IV regional championship game victory over Maumee Valley Country Day at Bowling Green State University on Friday.

Kalen Etzler pumps in two of his 25 points against Maumee Valley Country Day. Wyatt Richardson/Van Wert independent

The victory means the No. 2 Knights (26-1) will face Richmond Heights in the state semifinals at 2 p.m. Friday at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in Columbus.

It wasn’t an easy win. Crestview trailed 15-12 after the first quarter and 15-14 early in the second. After hitting a trey and a layup, Etzler drilled two triples in the span of 10 seconds, turning a two point lead into a 25-17 advantage.

“Anytime you can string together some buckets, especially threes, those can be momentum shifters and confidence builders,” Crestview head coach Jeremy Best said.

When the quarter ended, Crestview enjoyed a 29-19 lead, with 18 of those points coming from Etzler. Meanwhile, the Knights held the Hawks (19-8) to just four points in the period.

“He (Etzler) got hot tonight and he’s a really good basketball player,” Maumee Valley Country Day coach Rob Conover said of the 6-8 sophomore. “His brother is a really good basketball player and they’re a good team.”

The Hawks were able to trim the deficit to five, 37-32 with 3:05 left in the third quarter, but the Knights finished the quarter with a 9-0 scoring run, including a triple and a dunk by Etzler, a layup by Colton Lautzenheiser and a buzzer beater by Javin Etzler that gave Crestview a 46-32 lead.

MVCD came charging back in the fourth quarter, with Michigan recruit Zeb Jackson scoring 15 of his 25 points in the period, including three foul shots that closed the gap to 50-46 with 4:51 left in the game.

“They cut it to four and that’s what good teams, good players, good athletes do, but I’ll take these guys any day of the week to come back and fight for us and they did,” Best said.

Crestview regained control with a 13-0 run over the next four minutes. After a basket by Javin Etzler, Derick Dealey converted a layup and hit a three pointer from the top of the key. The two followed up with a pair of foul shots each and Wade Sheets capped the run with a pair of free throws that put the Knights up 63-46.

“I definitely think we got gassed a little bit and they came down and converted at the other end,” Conover said. “Hats off to Crestview, they’re a very good basketball team.”

Javin Etzler finished with 17 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, and 10 rebounds, while Dealey netted 14 points on the night.

As a team, Crestview was 23 of 48 from the floor, including 8 of 16 from three point range, 12 of 19 from the foul line, including 12 of 14 in the fourth quarter. The Knights also finished with 43 rebounds and 16 turnovers.

The Hawks were 16 of 62 from the floor, including 7 of 30 by Jackson, 10 of 12 from the free throw line, and tallied 33 rebounds and 10 turnovers.

“We obviously pressured and bothered him (Jackson) a little bit,” Best said. “I know they didn’t shoot it exceptionally well but I’d like to think that what we were doing had something to do with that. They were taking tough contested shots.”

Friday’s State appearance will be Crestview’s third under Best and fourth overall. The Knights fell to Fort Recovery 55-42 in the 1971 Class A semifinals, lost to Marion Local 62-46 in the 2003 Division IV finals, then defeated Louisville St. Thomas Aquinas 71-44 to win the 2014 Division IV state championship.

Scoring summary

Crestview 12 17 17 20 – 66
Mau VCD 15 4 13 17 – 49

Crestview: Kalen Etzler 10-0-25; Wade Sheets 0-4-4; Javin Etzler 5-6-17; Drew Kline 2-0-4; Derick Dealey 5-2-14; Colton Lautzenheiser 1-0-2

Maumee Valley Country Day: Dez Jett 1-0-2; Zeb Jackson 7-7-25; Stephen Coleman 1-3-6; J.R. Lumsden 4-0-8; Parker Chatman 3-0-8

POSTED: 03/15/19 at 11:14 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports