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The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports

CONVOY — A boost from the bench and late free throws were key factors in Crestview’s 60-51 non-conference win over a stubborn New Knoxville Rangers squad Saturday night at Ray Etzler Gymnasium.

Crestview’s bench outscored New Knoxville’s reserves 23-0, including 11 by Wade Sheets, and the Knights hit 9-of-11 free throws in fourth quarter.

Crestview's Derek Stout (11) puts in a layup over a New Knoxville defender during Saturday's non-conference game at Ray Etzler Gymnasium. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

Crestview’s Derek Stout (11) puts in a layup over a New Knoxville defender during Saturday’s non-conference game at Ray Etzler Gymnasium. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

Combined with Friday’s 72-55 road win over Allen East, Crestview head coach Jeremy Best said it was a good weekend for the Knights (14-6).

“We talked about a little character builder after last weekend, and we kind of tested their fortitude and grit and in practice and they responded,” Best said.

The Rangers jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead to start the game, but the Knights counted with back-to-back baskets by Brett Schumm and baskets by Drew Kline and Sheets to lead 8-5. Crestview scored the final bucket of the first quarter, then scored eight straight, including five by Grant Schlagbaum to grab a 26-13 lead in the second quarter.

New Knoxville (5-16) countered with two treys by Ben Lammers and seven points by Nathan Tinnerman, and reduced the deficit to 32-24 by halftime.

The Knights opened the third quarter with quick triple by Sheets and a basket by Derek Stout to extend the lead back to 13, but Nick Topp scored seven of New Knoxville’s 12 points in the period, and at one point the Rangers trimmed Crestview’s lead to 41-36.

It appeared Crestview would pull away in the fourth quarter, but each time the Knights would extend their lead to double digits, the Rangers were able to respond.

“They (New Knoxville) have some kids who play basketball, and I know their record’s not fabulous but look at the schedule they play,” Best said. “Their kids are tough, and I like playing them because they do make you scrap and play hard and defend.”

Javin Etzler scored the first five points of the final period and the Knights led 50-39 with just over five minutes left in the quarter.  The Rangers hit back-to-back treys and again trimmed the deficit to six with three minutes remaining.

Less than a minute later, Sheets hit a basket and two free throws to push Crestview’s lead to 56-46, then Stout hit consecutive charity tosses to make it 58-46.  Crestview’s final points came on free throws by Kline and Etzler.

Etzler led a balanced scoring effort with 12 points and nine rebounds. Sheets scored 11, Kline and Schlagbaum each scored seven, Stout and Schumm each tallied six, while Spencer Rolsten and Trevor Gibson scored five apiece.

“Balanced scoring is something you have to have,” Best said.

The Knights will finish the regular season at home Friday night against NWC foe Bluffton, then will play Lincolnview or Antwerp in the March 4 Division IV sectional championship game at Van Wert High School.

Box score:

Crestview         17  15  11  17–-60

New Knoxville  11  13  12  15–-51

Crestview: Drew Kline 7, Brett Schumm 6, Derek Stout 6, Javin Etzler 12, Spencer Rolsten 5, Trevor Gibson 5, Grant Schlagbaum 7, Wade Sheets 11.

New Knoxville: Nick Topp 14, Ben Lammers 14, Jonah Lageman 4, Nathan Tinnerman 18, Nick Thobe 1.

JV: Crestview won 59-27.

POSTED: 02/20/17 at 9:06 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Submitted information

CONVOY — Crestview High School is currently accepting applications for head girls’ soccer coach for the 2017-18 school year. Teaching positions may be available.

Candidates should preferably have previous interscholastic coaching experience and evidence of strong leadership, management, and communication skills. Interested candidates should forward a letter of interest, resume, and references to Crestview Athletic Administrator Dave Bowen, Crestview High School, 531 E. Tully St., Convoy, OH 45832, or via email to

The deadline for applications is Friday, March 3.

POSTED: 02/20/17 at 7:45 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

DAVE MOSIER/independent sports

DEFIANCE — It definitely wasn’t pretty, but the Van Wert Cougars managed to put together a fourth-quarter rally and ratchet down their defense to post a one-point Western Buckeye League win over Defiance, 49-48, on Friday.

Van Wert's Nate Place (10) puts up a shot over a Defiance defender in a 49-48 Cougar win over the Bulldogs. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

Van Wert’s Nate Place (10) puts up a shot over a Defiance defender in a 49-48 Cougar win over the Bulldogs. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

Even though Jacoby Kelly and Nate Place, the Cougars’ two top scorers and usually its best free-throw shooters, went a combined 3 of 10 from the line, Van Wert did just enough to come up with the hard-fought win.

Both teams scored 16 points in a roller-coaster first quarter, but the Bulldogs went on a 13-9 spurt in the second quarter to take a four-point lead, 29-25, at the half. The Cougars, who looked tired at times in the game, then stepped up their defense and outscored Defiance 24-19 in the second half for the win.

Van Wert took a 37-35 lead early in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs hung in, challenging several times in the final stanza before the Cougars were finally able to put it away. While only 2 of 7 from the line in the fourth quarter, Van Wert stepped up its defense to keep Defiance off the scoreboard.

Place led the Cougars, which saw only four players score, with 23 points, while Kelly added 17 points, including three treys. The Bulldogs were led by Will Lammers’ 16 points, while Michal Menendez added 11 for Defiance.

Van Wert was 19 of 40 from the field (47.5 percent), while hitting 5 of 13 from three-point range (38.5 percent). The Bulldogs made 18 of 41 from the field (43.9 percent), including 6 of 13 from behind the arc (46.2 percent). The Cougars were just 6 of 14 from the line (42.8 percent), while Defiance made 6 of 8 at the line (75 percent).

Van Wert had the edge in rebounding, 24-23, while also having fewer turnovers (12-14).

The Cougars (12-9, 4-4 WBL) will finish out the regular season next Friday at home against the second-place Wapakoneta Redskins (17-2, 7-1 WBL), who have lost only to league-leading Ottawa-Glandorf.

The Van Wert junior varsity team lost 53-42 to the Bulldogs. Brice Klausing led all scorers with 18 points, while Clayton Proffitt added 10 points for the Cougar JVs. Hunter Perrine had 11 points for Defiance, while Tyrel Goings added 10 for the Bulldog JVs.

Box score

Van Wert 16   9 7 17—49

Defiance  16 13 6 13—48

Van Wert (49) — Jacoby Kelly 17, Nate Place 23, Nick Gutierrez 3, Drew Bagley 6. Totals: 19 6-14 49.

Defiance (48) — Michael Menendez 11, Will Lammers 16, James Sele 6, Tyrel Goings 4, Josef Kanouh 8, Easton Gerken 3. Totals: 18 6-8 48.

JV game: Defiance won 53-42

POSTED: 02/18/17 at 8:47 am. FILED UNDER: Sports


Crestview senior Katie Hughes has signed a letter of intent to compete in track and field at Defiance College. Hughes said she is looking forward to competing in hurdling events at the collegiate level.  Shown with Hughes are (seated, from the left) her father, Brad, and mother, Susan; (standing) Crestview Track and Field Coach James Lautzenheiser and athletic administrator Dave Bowen. (Crestview photo)

POSTED: 02/17/17 at 9:11 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Submitted information

Northwest Ohio Basketball Club will be holding tryouts for boys wanting to play on a traveling basketball team in grades 5-8 on Sunday, February 26, at 6 p.m., and for boys in 9-11 on Sunday, March 26.

This is an AAU team that travels throughout the late spring and summer and has been a successful program since 1997.

Tryouts will be at the Van Wert YMCA, corner of Main and Shannon streets. For more information, contact Coach Rob Welch at 419.238.3620 or email

POSTED: 02/16/17 at 8:40 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports

HAVILAND — A 24-6 scoring advantage in the second quarter helped the Wayne Trace Raiders defeat the Crestview Knights 69-44 Saturday night at “The Palace.”

After hitting four three-point baskets in the first quarter, including a buzzer-beater by Drew Kline, the Knights led 12-11 entering the second period.

The two teams traded baskets early in the second, then the Raiders scored nine unanswered points to grab a 22-14 lead.  The Knights countered with a basket and two free throws to close the gap to 22-18, but Wayne Trace scored the final 13 points of the quarter to lead 35-18 at halftime.

At the break, Ethan Linder had 17 points and six rebounds for the state-ranked Raiders (18-2). The area’s all-time leading scorer finished the game with 37 points and nine rebounds.

He scored eight of Wayne Trace’s 16 third quarter points, then 12 more in the final stanza.

“Ethan really gets us in a position to win, but he has shooters everywhere and that makes his job easier,” Wayne Trace head coach Jim Linder said. “We shot it well tonight. We shot it well from the free throw line and the perimeter.”

Jake Kuhn scored 15 for the Raiders, while Eli Sinn and Brady Stabler chipped in with five apiece.

The Knights trailed by as many as 23 in the third quarter, and could get no closer than 15 in the fourth quarter.

Spencer Rolsten led the Knights with 11 points, while Javin Etzler finished with a double-double, scoring 10 points and grabbing 12 rebounds.

Despite the outcome and Friday’s 43-41 loss to Spencerville, Crestview head coach Jeremy Best said it wasn’t a tough weekend.

“It was a learning experience,” Best said. “We’re growing, we’ll be fine.”

“They’re a good team, and we couldn’t counter their runs,” the coach added. “Ethan is a difference maker, and nobody has anybody like him.”

The loss dropped Crestview to 12-6. The Knights will return to Northwest Conference competition Friday at Ada, then will host New Knoxville the following night.  Saturday’s game will air live on WKSD 99.7 FM, and will stream live at and The Van Wert Independent (

Box score:

Wayne Trace  11  24  16  18–69

Crestview        12   6   12  14–44

Wayne Trace: Brady Stabler 5, Jon Sinn 5, Ethan Linder 37, Jake Kuhn 15, Josh Kuhn 2, Blaine Jerome 1, Josiah Linder 3.

Crestview: Drew Kline 6, Derek Stout 3, Javin Etzler 10, Trevor Gibson 4, Spencer Rolsten 11, Brett Schumm 5, Grant Schlagbaum 5.

JV: Wayne Trace won 45-29.

POSTED: 02/13/17 at 8:13 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

ST. HENRY — The Van Wert Cougars used a balanced scoring attack, while hitting their free throws down the stretch to defeat St. Henry 65-55 on Saturday at St. Henry.

The Cougars had four players in double figures, led by Nate Place’s 18 points. Three players, Jacoby Kelly, Dylan Lautzenheiser, and Drew Bagley, each scored 12 points for Van Wert. Ryan Bruening led the Redskins with 15 points, while Nick Schwieterman added 12 points for St. Henry.

A third-quarter spurt by the Cougars was the difference in the game. Van Wert led after a quarter, 14-10, while St. Henry outscored the Cougars 13-11 to trail by a basket, 25-23, at the half. Van Wert went on an 18-10 tear in the third quarter to go up by 10, 43-33, while both teams had 22 points in the final stanza.

The Cougars had the hot hand from the field, making 20 of 35 field goal attempts (57.1 percent), including 3 of 7 three-point attempts (42.9 percent). Van Wert also continued a hot streak at the free throw line, hitting 22 of 28 (78.6 percent).

Cougar head logoThe Redskins were held to 21 of 57 from the field (36.8 percent), including just 3 of 21 from three-point range (14.3 percent), while making 10 of 17 free throw attempts (58.8 percent).

The taller St. Henry team outrebounded the Cougars 33-29, while both teams had eight turnovers in the game.

Van Wert is now 11-9 overall, while St. Henry falls to 12-8 on the season.

The Redskin junior varsity team had an easy time over Van Wert’s JVs, winning 56-30. Brice Klausing scored 11 points for the Cougar JVs, while Jay Knapke had 13 points for St. Henry.

Van Wert has two more games, both Western Buckeye League contests, remaining on the regular season schedule. The Cougars will host Defiance this coming Friday, February 17, while ending the season at league-leading Wapakoneta on February 24.

Box score

Van Wert  14 11 18 22—65

St. Henry  10 13 10 22—55

Van Wert (65) — Jacoby Kelly 12, Nate Place 18, Nick Gutierrez 5, Dylan Lautzenheiser 12, Drew Bagley 12, Matt Reichert 2, Blake Henry 4. Totals: 20 22-28 65.

St.. Henry (55) — Curtis Uhlenhake 3, Ryan Luttmer 3, Ryan Bruening 15, Tyler Schlarman 8, Blake Hoyng 6, Caden Niekamp 3, Nick Schwieterman 12, Nate Lefeld 2, Parker Link 3. Totals: 21 10-17 55.

JV game: St. Henry won 56-30.

POSTED: 02/13/17 at 8:10 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

AYERSVILLE — The Cougar swim team traveled to Ayersville High School for the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Division II Sectional Tournament involving 13 teams, including four Western Buckeye League schools.

The boys took ninth place, while the girls finished seventh. Wauseon captured first place for the boys and Ottawa-Glandorf reigned as the girls’ champion, with Celina taking runner-up for the boys and Wauseon runner-up in the girls’ events.

Van Wert swimmer Katie McVaigh competes in the 100-yard butterfly at sectionals in Ayersville. (photo submitted)

Van Wert swimmer Katie McVaigh competes in the 100-yard butterfly at sectionals in Ayersville. (photo submitted)

Other schools participating (in order of finish in the boys’ standings) included Bowling Green, Defiance, Coldwater, Fort Recovery, Ayersville, Fairview, Miller City, Archbold, and Tinora.

During the sectional tournament, the Cougar swimmers earned 22 personal best records out of 23 total events.

The next meet for the Cougars will be the OHSAA Division II District Tournament at Bowling Green State University on February 17. Individual swimmers Madison Jarrett, Peyton Fleming, Bethany Fast, Katie McVaigh, and Madison Turnwald will represent the Cougars at the district tournament.

Girls’ Results (all distances in yards)

  • 200 Medley Relay:  5th (2:03.68 –Katie McVaigh, Peyton Fleming, Bethany Fast, Madison Turnwald)
  • 200 freestyle:  12th (2:24.46 – Olivia Profit)
  • 200 Individual Medley:  5th (2:31.85 – Katie McVaigh)
  • 50 Freestyle:  7th (27.68 –Madison Turnwald)
  • 100 Butterfly:  6th (1:08.22 – Katie McVaigh)
  • 100 Freestyle:  14th (1:05.36 –Olivia Profit), 19th (1:09.68 – Emma Verville)
  • 200 Freestyle Relay:  5th (1:50.77 – Madison Turnwald, Bethany Fast, Peyton Fleming, Katie McVaigh)
  • 100 Backstroke:  7th (1:11.00 –Emma Verville)
  • 100 Breaststroke:  8th (1:16.13 –Bethany Fast) 13th (1:19.28 – Peyton Fleming), 17th – (1:23.52 – Rebekah Fast)
  • 1 meter Diving:  6th (337.35 points, Madison Jarrett)

Boys’ Results (all distances in yards)

  • 200 Medley Relay:  3rd (2:05.51 – Andrew Hamblett, Noah Arend, Dalton Heppeard, Brayden Cox)
  • 200 Freestyle:  11th (2:25.04 – Brayden Cox)
  • 50 Freestyle: 2nd (25.19 –Dalton Heppeard), 8th (26.96- Andrew Hamblett), 9th (27.31 – Noah Arend)
  • 100 Butterfly: 12th (1:06.69 – Dalton Heppeard)
  • 500 Freestyle: 11th (6:35.25 –Brayden Cox)
  • 200 Freestyle Relay:  4th (1:49.91 – Dalton Heppeard, Noah Arend, Andrew Hamblett, Brayden Cox)
  • 100 Backstroke:  10th (1:12.78 –Arend Hamblett)
  • 100 Breaststroke: 14th (1:18.86 –Noah Arend)

POSTED: 02/13/17 at 8:02 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

DAVE MOSIER/independent sports

The Van Wert Cougars used a fourth-quarter rally to defeat Celina 58-52 in a Western Buckeye League contest played Friday in the Cougars’ Den.

Van Wert's Blake Henry (23) shoots over a Celina defender during the two team's Western Buckeye League contest Friday in the Cougars' Den. Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent

Van Wert’s Blake Henry (23) shoots over a Celina defender during the two team’s Western Buckeye League contest Friday in the Cougars’ Den. Jan Dunlap/Van Wert independent

The Cougars, who are now 10-9 overall and 3-4 in the WBL, came within two baskets of having five players in double figures. Jacoby Kelly led Van Wert with 14 points, while Nate Place scored 13 points, Dylan Lautzenheiser added 12 points, and Drew Bagley and Blake Henry each had 8 points for the Cougars. Celina’s Brett Schwieterman led all scorers with 15 points, while Kole Murlin and Lucas Hone each scored 10 points for the Bulldogs, who are now 4-14 overall and 2-5 in league play.

Van Wert got out front quickly and led by two, 18-16, at the end of the first half. The Bulldogs tied it up at the half with 29 points apiece with a 13-11 run in the second period.

Celina then took a two-point lead at the end of three after outscoring the Cougars 13-11 in the quarter, but Van Wert went on a 16-8 run in the final stanza, including shooting 6 of 6 at the free throw line, to get the win.

Both teams shot well during the game, but the Cougars went 11 of 12 overall at the line during the game to help seal the victory.

Van Wert was 22 of 49 from the field (44.9 percent), including 5 of 15 (33.3 percent) from three-point range. The Bulldogs made 18 of 42 field goal attempts (42.9 percent), including 6 of 14 three-point attempts (42.9 percent).

The Cougars made 11 of 12 free throws (91.7 percent), while Celina was 10 of 13 at the line (76.9 percent).

The Bulldogs had the edge in rebounding, 28-26, while Van Wert had one fewer turnover, 8-9, in the game.

The Cougar junior varsity team also won, 40-35, over Celina. Van Wert was led by Joey Schaufelberger, who scored 14 points in the JV contest. The Cougar JVs are also 10-9 on the year.

Van Wert will travel to St. Henry tonight for a non-conference game against the Redskins, before finishing up the regular season next weekend against WBL foes Defiance and league-leading Wapakoneta.

Box score

Celina      16 13 15  9—52

Van Wert 18 11 13 16—58

Celina (52) — Brett Schwieterman 15, Jimi Brian 5, Kole Murlin 10, Bryan Harter 10, Lucas Hone 4, Kyle Flaute 6, Brendon Yenser 2. Totals: 18 10-13 52.

Van Wert (58) — Jacoby Kelly 14, Nate Place 13, Nick Gutierrez 3, Dylan Lautzenheiser 12, Drew Bagley 8, Blake Henry 8. Totals: 22 11-12 58.

JV game: Van Wert won 40-35

POSTED: 02/11/17 at 9:33 am. FILED UNDER: Sports

Van Wert independent sports

CONVOY — The Northwest Conference boys’ basketball match-up between Crestview and Spencerville lived up to its billing, but a Knight rally in the final stanza fell a basket short as the Bearcats eked out a 43-41 win.

Crestview's Derek Stout (11) put up a shot at the basket during the Knights' Northwest Conference tilt Friday against Spencerville in Ray Etzler Gymnasium. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

Crestview’s Derek Stout (11) put up a shot at the basket during the Knights’ Northwest Conference tilt Friday against Spencerville in Ray Etzler Gymnasium. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

Outshot by the Knights in the field, Spencerville won the game at the line, making 11 of 17 free throws, while Crestview only got five free throw attempts in the entire game and made three of those.

It was a defensive contest, with the Bearcats getting the stops when they needed them, although Crestview also did a good job of stifling Spencerville’s offense during the game.

The Knights’ Javin Etzler led all scorers with 15 points, but was the only Crestview player in double figures. Spencer Rolsten added 8 for the Knights, who fall to 12-5 overall and 5-1 in league play. Daniel Corso scored 14 points to lead Spencerville, while Bailey Croft added 11 points for the Bearcats, who are now 14-4 and 7-0 in the NWC.

Crestview held the ‘Cats to 34 percent shooting from the field (13-38) and 35 percent from three-point range (6-17). The Knights shot 43 percent from the field (16 of 37), including 6 of 11 three-point attempts (54 percent).

Spencerville was 11 of 17 from the line (64 percent), while the Knights made 3 of 5 free throw attempts (60 percent).

Spencerville took the early lead and was up by six points, 13-7, at the end of the first quarter. The Knights then went on a 13-12 run in the second quarter to cut the lead to five, 25-20, at the half. The Bearcats extended their lead to nine points, 38-29, at the three-quarter mark with a 13-9 run in that stanza, but Crestview went on a 12-5 run in the final stanza and had the ball down by a single point, 42-41, with 11 seconds to go when Bearcat guard Dakota Prichard stole the ball following a Knight timeout.

Spencerville’s Bailey Croft was then fouled and made the front end of a 1-and-1 for the final margin of victory.

For the Knights, who have lost five games this season by three points or less, the loss was a frustrating one, while the win gives Spencerville a share of the NWC lead.

Box score

Spencerville 13 12 13  5—43

Crestview      7 13  9 12—41

Spencerville (43) — Daniel Corso 14, Bailey Croft 11, Gary Schrolucke 9, Dakota Prichard 8, Ben Dues 1. Totals: 13 11-17 43.

Crestview (41) — Javin Etzler 15, Spencer Rolsten 6, Brett Schumm 6, Derek Stout 6, Drew Kline 5, Derick Dealey 3. Totals: 16 3-5 41.

POSTED: 02/11/17 at 9:28 am. FILED UNDER: Sports