Crestview’s Cam Etzler fires up a shot over an Ottoville defender in a sectional final game at Van Wert High School Friday. The Knights defeated the Big Green 48-36. (Times Bulletin/Brian Bassett)
Crestview’s Cam Etzler fires up a shot over an Ottoville defender in a sectional final game at Van Wert High School Friday. The Knights defeated the Big Green 48-36. (Times Bulletin/Brian Bassett)

Times Bulletin Sports Editor

VAN WERT - It wasn't pretty, and Ottoville didn't go down without a fight, but in the end the Crestview Knight basketball team did what it had to do Friday evening at Van Wert to take the Division IV sectional championship with a 48-36 victory over the Big Green.

The teams traded blows all game, but in the end Crestview did just enough in the fourth quarter to hold on for the win.

"(Ottoville's) kids are competitors. I'm proud of our kids for hanging in there. We need to shore up some things and play better - and we will. It's just a credit to our kids for hanging in there. Coming into this game we knew everything was going to be highly-contested. I was pleased that we were able to stretch a led out like we did. We didn't really anticipate being able to do that," explained Crestview coach Jeremy Best.

Crestview (20-3) used a hot first quarter to jump out to a 17-5 lead behind five points from all-league junior forward Tyson Bulenbaugh.

Ottoville (9-15) came fighting back and, after hitting on only 1-of-5 shots in the first, went 6-of-9 from the field in the second - including 3-of-5 from deep. Junior forward Luke Schimmoeller led the charge with six points in the run.

As a result, the Big Green had pulled within 26-22 at the break.

"That's how we've been all year," said Ottoville coach Todd Turnwald. "That right there is our season. We've faced a lot of adversity in the last two years, and we faced some tonight in the first quarter. We bounced back because of the kids we have. They just battle, that's what they do."

The Big Green run stalled in the third, however, and the quarter looked much like the first. The Knights went 3-of-4 from deep in the period, and 4-of-9 in total, while holding Ottoville to 0-of-5.

The only Big Green points in the third frame came on two Schimmoeller free throws. The Knights extended their lead to 40-24 by the start of the fourth.

"The first and third quarter really bit us. They came out and threw a big punch in the first and third quarters," continued Turnwald.

The Big Green again answered in the fourth, this time with a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to seven, 40-33. Several Crestview turnovers in the stretch didn't help things for the Knights.

"They came out right away and went on a 5-0 run to get it back to 11. We turned it over too much. I thought we got too passive offensively," Best said.

Bolenbaugh finally answered with a pair of free throws, and Schimmoeller fouled out at the 2:38 mark of the fourth.

Ottoville kept it as close at 42-35 at the 1:36 mark of the game, but without its top scorer on the night on the floor, The Big Green couldn't draw any closer and was forced to foul.

Crestview converted on only 8-of-15 free throws in the frame, and went 0-of-2 from the field in the fourth, but held on for the eventual win.

"Our guys came back in the second half and reestablished. We kind of muddled away a little bit, but that had a lot to do with them," added Best.

Bolenbaugh and junior forward Damian Helm led the Knights with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Best explained that part of the plan on the night was getting the pair open paths to the basket.

"We knew that if we had any advantage against their defense, it would be getting some cutting action and different rotations from different spots on the floor to get some high-low action. We were able to get that early, which was huge for us."

The Knights shot 14-of-29 on the night for a 48-percent clip, including hitting on 5-of-12 from deep. In comparison, the Big Green managed 11-of-28 from the field, for 39 percent, and 4-of-14 from long range.

"They made some nice adjustments with the 2-2-1 and 2-3 zone, which is a little out of character for those guys," explained Turnwald.

Best also acknowledged the change in defenses.

"They were hurting us off dribble penetration so we had to go to the zone - something we don't do much. But I think it kind of muddled them a little bit and kind of threw them off a little bit.

Luke Schimmoeller led the Big Green with 12 points on the evening. Guards Derek Schimmoeller and Ryan Honingford scored six and seven points respectively in their last game in the green-and-gold. Senior forward Cory Fischer added a point, hitting the second of two free throw attempts.

"We have some great seniors who have improved so much mentally and physically. Not just in their games, but how they are in life. I'm just really proud of those guys," Turnwald said.

The win advances Crestview to play the winner of the Coldwater sectional at the Elida Fieldhouse next Tuesday at 8 p.m.

OTTIVILLE (2pt. 3pt. FT Pts.)

R. Honingford 0-1 1-4 4-4 7, D. Schimmoeller 0-2 1-4 3-4 6, A. Honingford 0-1 1-1 0-3 3, L. Schimmoeller 5-7 0-2 2-2 12, Landin 2-3 0-0 0-0 4, Roby 0-0 1-3 0-0 3, Fischer 0-0 0-0 1-2 1.


Bolenbaugh 4-4 0-0 6-7 14, Helm 3-5 1-3 3-5 12, Etzler 0-1 2-3 1-5 7, Lautzenheiser 0-3 0-5 2-2 2, Zaleski 0-0 2-3 0-0 6, Heffner 2-3 0-0 3-4 7, Simerman 0-1 0-1 0-0 0.

Ottoville 5 17 2 12 - 36

Crestview 17 11 14 8 - 50