Crestview’s Damian Helm drives on a St. Henry defender in a district game at the Elida Fieldhouse Tuesday evening. The Knights fell to the Redskins 61-51. (Times Bulletin/Brian Bassett)
Crestview’s Damian Helm drives on a St. Henry defender in a district game at the Elida Fieldhouse Tuesday evening. The Knights fell to the Redskins 61-51. (Times Bulletin/Brian Bassett)
BY JIM COX

Times Bulletin Correspondent

sporta@timesbulletin.com

ELIDA - In a game that was as even as it could be for 26 minutes, St. Henry pulled away in the last six to top Crestview 61-51 in Tuesday night's second district semifinal. That sets up a final matchup of Midwest Athletic Conference co-champs St. Henry (22-3) and Delphos St. John's Friday night at 7 p.m. Crestview's fantastic season ends at 20-4.

Crestview tied it at 35-35 on a Preston Zaleski steal and layup with 41 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Redskins' 6'5 sophomore point guard Ryan Mikesell tipped one in at the buzzer to give St. Henry a 37-35 lead after three. After the Skins' superstar Kyle Stahl put in a nifty 10-foot spinner to up the lead to 39-35, Crestview's Damian Helm did likewise, the first of his four fourth-quarter field goals, but that two-point margin was as close as the Knights would get.

Helm challenged the powerful Redskin front line for those four buckets, and, along with Cam Etzler's 6 of 8 free throws, kept Crestview within 4-8 points until the last minute when Redskin free throws salted it away. St. Henry hit 11 of 15 freebies and 6 of 8 fielders in the final eight minutes.

Crestview led much of the first quarter, but Mikesell swished a three-pointer from the left wing with four seconds left to give St. Henry a 15-14 lead after one, Stahl having scored eight points on a variety of inside moves, including shots with either hand. The roles were reversed in the second period as the Skins led throughout until Zaleski nailed a triple from the right wing at the 1:15 mark to put the Knights up 23-22, and nobody scored after that, leaving Crestview with a one-point lead at the break.

There were four ties and one lead change in the third period, during which neither team led by more than four. Stahl added nine points to his total during those eight minutes.

St. Henry was a bit better in all four major statistical categories. The Redskins out-shot the Knights from the field 50 percent (23 of 46) to 43 percent (19 of 44) -- and from the line 71 percent (12 of 17) to 63 percent (12 of 19). St. Henry won the boards 29-26 and had one less turnover, 9-10.

Stahl had a magnificent night with 25 points, 14 rebounds, and 4 assists. Mikesell and Jordan Bender added 15 and 12 points, respectively. Helm, Tyson Bolenbaugh, and Etzler led Crestview scoring with 17, 13, and 12. Bolenbaugh and Zaleski had 8 rebounds apiece. Helm led in assists with 3.

It was the final high school basketball game for Crestview seniors Josh Ream, Alex Brown, and Alec Heffner.

Score by quarters:

Crestview 14 9 12 16 - 51

St. Henry 15 7 15 24 - 61

Crestview (FG-FT-TP) (51)

Zaleski 3-7 0-1 7, Etzler 2-9 8-10 12, Lautzenheiser 0-6 0-0 0, Helm 7-10 3-3 17, Bolenbaugh 6-10 1-3 13, Ream 1-1 0-2 2, Heffner 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-44 12-19 51.

St. Henry (FG-FT-TP) 61

Stahl 11-18 3-3 25, Mikesell 5-9 4-7 15, Bender 4-7 2-3 12, Post 1-5 3-4 5, Hemmelgarn 1-5 0-0 2, Schwieterman 1-2 0-0 2, Evers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-46 12-17 61.

Three-point field goals: Crestview 1 (Zaleski), St. Henry 3 (Bender 2, Mikesell).