Crestview sophomore Emily Bauer works against Holgate’s low-post defense during the Lady Knights’ regional semi-final loss on Thursday night. Bauer finished with 10 points for Crestview. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
Crestview sophomore Emily Bauer works against Holgate’s low-post defense during the Lady Knights’ regional semi-final loss on Thursday night. Bauer finished with 10 points for Crestview. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By Jim Cox
Times Bulletin Correspondent
ELIDA — A nearly perfect storm struck Crestview in Thursday night’s Division IV regional semifinal as Holgate over-powered the Lady Knights 54-46 in a game that wasn’t quite as close as the final score would indicate. Crestview’s super season ends at 23-2.
The Lady Tigers (22-4) advance to face Carey Saturday night for a berth in the Final Four. Carey topped New Riegel 44-39 in Thursday’s opener.
Holgate’s two six-footers, senior Northwest District player of the year Marissa Myles and junior Rachel Desgranges, were simply too much for the shorter Knights to handle. Myles ended up with 18 points, including 13 in the first half, and 11 rebounds. Desgranges came off the bench to score 16.
Holgate coach James Niese agreed that the Tigers played their best game of the year. “You saw how we play basketball when we play really well, completely unselfish…we had opportunities for people to score from the perimeter, people to drive, we got it inside when they gave that to us, and that all happens as a result of team play, ball movement, execution, and everybody doing their jobs,” said Niese. “It’s really hard to score on them consistently if you don’t, because Crestview is a great defensive team.”

“We knew it was gonna be a struggle, but we gave them way too many easy baskets,” said Knight coach Greg Rickard. “We were concerned about their inside-out game. They didn’t have a lot of outside game (tonight), but they didn’t have to. We played man, we played zone, we did everything we could. You can’t double down a whole lot because they’ve got 3-point shooters. We got them to miss some shots, but we didn’t do a very good job of boxing out at times.”
The never-say-die Knights managed to hang close in the first half, trailing only 26-22 after 16 minutes, but the game got away from them in the third quarter. The Tigers started the third period on a 6-0 run: two Myles free throws, a Myles open layup, and a Desgranges open layup. Crestview’s tallest player at 5-foot-9, sophomore Emily Bauer tossed in an eight-foot base jumper, but Desgranges countered with another layup. Bauer swished two free throws, but, again, the Tigers countered with a layup, this time by junior Mattie Grim and it was 36-26 at 3:21.
Grim crashed the lane and banged in another layup to lead by 12, but Crestview junior Mackenzie Riggenbach hit nothing but net on a 17-foot jump shot. Desgranges ended the quarter with a layup off a high-low assist from Myles, and it was 40-28 after three.
If there was any doubt about the eventual outcome, it ended quickly at the start of the fourth. Holgate scored the first seven points on an old-style three-point play by Desgranges, two freebies by Desgranges, and two free throws by junior Connor Abel. That made it 47-28 with 6:16 left. The Knights ended the game on an 11-1 run, spearheaded by subs Courtney Grote and Claire Zaleski, to narrow the gap considerably.
During the final eight minutes, Holgate attempted only two field goals, hitting both, but was 10-for-15 from the line to keep the Knights at bay. Crestview, in the meantime, had its best quarter, hitting 6-of-10 from the field and 4-of-6 from the stripe to win the quarter 18-14.
The first quarter was basketball at its best. Myles started it by snagging a lob and muscling it in, but Crestview came back on a right wing 3-pointer by junior Terra Crowle and a layup by Bauer. There were two ties and seven lead changes in the first quarter, after which Crestview led 16-14. Riggenbach had seven points and Myles six after one stanza.
Desgranges promptly tied it with a put-back to start the second quarter, and Myles made it 18-16, Tigers, with a pretty eight-foot turnaround jumper. Knight junior Lindsey Motycka buried a 16-footer from the baseline to tie it at 18, but Abel drained a three from the left corner to get a lead that Holgate would never relinquish.
Myles then added a turnaround ten-footer and an old-fashioned three-point play via put-back. However, Bauer hit two free throws, and Riggenbach rattled in an elbow jumper to keep the Knights within four at the half.
Holgate out-shot Crestview from the field, 49 percent (18-for-37) to 41 percent (16-for-39). The Knights were better from the free throw line, 79 percent (11-for-14) to 67 percent (16-for-24). The boards were even at 23 apiece, including four offensive rebounds by each team. The Lady Tigers had 10 turnovers, the Lady Knights 11.
Riggenbach, in the absence of the injured Kennis Mercer, continually drove the ball into the teeth of the Tiger defense, ending the night with 16 points on 6-of-15 field goal shooting and 3-of-4 free throws. Bauer added 10 points and, along with senior Kirstin Hicks, led the Knights in rebounds with five. Riggenbach, Bauer, and Zaleski each had three assists.
The game was the last one for Knight seniors Hicks and Grote. “We told the girls after a few days and the pain subsides a little bit, you’ll realize what kind of year you had,” said Rickard. “It was a great year. It hurts now, but they accomplished a lot.”
Score by quarters:
Crestview 16 6 6 18- 46
Holgate 14 12 14 14- 54
Crestview (46)
Riggenbach 16, Bauer 10, Crowle 5, Motycka 4, Hicks 0, Zaleski 6, Grote 5, Hartman 0, Skelton 0, Guest 0, Bowen 0
Holgate (54)
Myles 18, Grim 8, Niese 7, Abel 5, Like 0, Desgranges 16, Clady 0, Faber 0, Kelly 0, Emma Willet 0, Gabbi Willet 0, Gineman 0