Crestview’s Mackenzie Riggenbach drives the lane as Gabby Pimpas defends during the Lady Knights’ 52-31 win on Thursday. Riggenbach scored nine points in the victory. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
Crestview’s Mackenzie Riggenbach drives the lane as Gabby Pimpas defends during the Lady Knights’ 52-31 win on Thursday. Riggenbach scored nine points in the victory. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)

By John Parent

Times Bulletin Sports Editor

CONVOY - The Crestview Lady Knights used a 16-1 run to end the third quarter to open up what had been a six-point game and turn it into a blowout on Thursday night at Ray Etzler Gymnasium. Crestview defeated the visiting Delphos Jefferson Wildcats by a 52-31 final, improving the Knights to 6-1 on the year and 3-0 in the Northwest Conference. Jefferson falls to 2-5 overall and 0-3 in conference play.

Jefferson's Rileigh Stockwell got inside and was able to get around her defender and score to open the second half, bringing the game to 24-18 in favor of Crestview.

Crestview then got a three-point field goal from sophomore Emily Bauer at the 7:19 mark. After a Jefferson turnover, it was Bauer scoring again, this time on an offensive rebound after she had corralled a Kennis Mercer miss from long range. On the next Crestview possession, Mercer got open again and stroked another triple, this one finding the bottom of the net. Jefferson head coach David Hoffman called a quick timeout with 6:09 showing on the third quarter clock, but in a matter of just over a minute of game action, the Lady Knights had turned a tight ballgame into a 14-point spread.

Jefferson wouldn't threaten again.

"That was big," said Crestview head coach Greg Rickard of his team's third quarter spurt. The outburst opened a 16-1 run to end the period for the Knights. "They scored that first basket and we just had to get some stops. We came out, we shot well, we got the ball inside a little bit and we were able to get some stops."

Despite allowing the Lady Knights to get out to an 8-0 start to the game, Jefferson battled back and had cut the lead to 14-11 mid-way through the second. The Lady Knights looked in trouble as the Wildcats pecked away at the lead. With Bauer and junior Lindsey Motycka both sitting with foul problems, Crestview wasn't sure where to turn for offense.

That's when junior Terra Crowle stepped up and drained a three, igniting a quick 5-0 run that concluded with a Mackenzie Riggenbach drive and score. After Jefferson's Gabby Pimpas knocked down a triple of her own to stem the tide, Crowle found the range from deep once again and established an eight-point advantage for the Knights.

"We got a little stagnant (with Bauer and Motycka on the bench), but (Crowle) is a capable shooter. We had some open looks and we hit some of them," added Rickard.

Still, there was no quit in the Jeffcats. Though they never led in the game, Jefferson played to a dead-even 16-16 score after spotting Crestview those first eight points, creating a 24-16 halftime margin. Both teams had six first-half turnovers and the rebounds were close, with Crestview holding a slight 12-10 edge on the glass. The difference, at that point, was the shooting. Crestview was 9-for-20 in the opening 16 minutes while Jefferson made just 6-of-18 from the field.

"We've struggled offensively all year," Hoffman noted. "Five of the last six games we've been down in the twenties (shooting percentage). We were able to attack the baseline a little bit, early especially."

Even as the outcome had been long since decided in the closing minutes of the contest, Jefferson continued to battle. Jefferson got a long two-pointer from Heather Pohlman, two free throws from Pimpas and back-to-back jumpers from Jasmine McDougall to close the game on an 8-0 run.

"I've been very pleased all year (with the effort)," noted Hoffman. "We've played hard. We haven't played well at times, we just haven't shot very well and that causes a lot of frustration for the players when a shot doesn't fall here or there. But I thought our effort was very good. We need to execute a little better, but it's no doubt we played one of the better teams in the area tonight."

Score by quarters

Jefferson 5 11 3 12- 31

Crestview 10 14 16 12- 52

Jefferson (31) individual scoring

Culp 2, Goergens 3, Stockwell 11, Pimpas 5, McDougall 4, Koenig 4, Pohlman 2

Crestview (52) individual scoring Mercer 5, Riggenbach 9, Bauer 16, Motycka 8, Hicks 0, Crowle 8, Grote 0, Hartman 6, Guest 0