Crestview’s Brant Richardson puts up a shot Friday night in the Knights win against Kalida. Richardson was a spark off the bench for the Crestview. (DHI Media/ Reid Maus)
Crestview’s Brant Richardson puts up a shot Friday night in the Knights win against Kalida. Richardson was a spark off the bench for the Crestview. (DHI Media/ Reid Maus)
CONVOY — It was the same story for the Crestview Knights, as their offense took time to get on a roll— but when the Knights did start taking charge they were hard to stop. The Knights outscored Kalida in the second half 29-18 en route to a 52-38 victory Friday night at “The Ray.”

“We executed very well in the final possessions of the third quarter,” said Crestview head coach Jeremy Best. “We got good looks and got buckets— that carried into the fourth quarter. The ability to execute in the third quarter late got us some momentum moving into the fourth quarter.”

The Knights hustled into the locker room at halftime with a 23-20 lead over the visiting Wildcats. To start the second act of the game Kalida came out rolling, scoring five straight points to take their lone lead of the game at 25-23. This didn’t last long as sophomore Kalen Etzler came down the the floor and hit a jumper from the elbow to knot the game back up. This started the boulder down the hill as the Knights went on a 10 point run— one that they never looked back from.

Crestview benefited greatly from the play of their bench in the third quarter.

“I thought Colton Lautzenhieser came off and gave us a huge lift just with his energy,” said Best on the spark thatwas provided by his bench. “We were lacking [energy] at times, I’m not sure why we can’t have energy for 32 minutes but that is something we will have to keep trying to find.”

Best also commended Brant Richardson, who scored six off the bench, on his play Friday night.

A big jolt of energy was felt in The Ray each time starter Derick Dealey ran down across the Knights’ logo on center court fist pumping after hitting a 3-pointer. The two biggest threes came subsequent a Kalida timeout with the score at 37-28. Dealey nailed 3-pointers in consecutive trips down the floor for Crestview, opening the game to a 15 point affair.

Kalida, offensively was missing perhaps their best player, 6’3 senior forward Trevor Lambert. Lambert, who missed Friday’s matchup due to illness, was averaging 14 points on the season. The Wildcats lost by 14 points.

The Wildcats had to turn to another senior forward Owen Recker to produce the scoring. Recker lead the Knights with 13, while junior forward Evan Roebke notched eight points.

Though Kalida was without their best player, Crestview still held a talented team like the Wildcats to 38 points.

“We mixed defenses a little bit tonight, probably played a little more zone than what we normally do,” said the Knights head coach. “If we are active [in their zone defense] than I’m okay with it and we were…We have height and length but we don’t have the overall size that they have. They put us in some tough situations which is probably why we played some more zone tonight.”

Though Crestview was able to win Friday, the prize of the weekend is surely Saturday when the Knights take on the county rival Van Wert in a game that was suspended from early December.

Both teams are looking for their, as Coach Best puts it “basketball legs” back. The game that will take place Saturday was moved from early December as a product of two lengthy football campaigns.

“Another challenge another athletic really good basketball team,” said Best on Saturday night’s game. “[Van Wert] is kind of like we are. I think they are going to start playing better and get in to their groove here a bit.”

“It should be a good environment and a good rivalry game,” continued Best. “I think both teams will play with a lot of energy, I think that is all both coaches can ask for— we will see who can execute better”

Saturday’s game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start time at Van Wert.

Summary:

Kalida 7|13|8|10 - 38

Crestview 15|8|12|17 - 52

Knights:

Derick Deley 16 pts, Kalen Etzler 7 pts, Drew Kline 6 pts, Wade Sheets 6 pts

Wildcats:

Owenr Recker 13 pts, Evan Roebke 8 pts