(Wyatt Richardson)
(Wyatt Richardson)

HAVILAND - Wayne Trace gave highly touted Crestview all it could handle for three quarters of Saturday night’s non-league boys basketball game at the Palace.

But it was the visiting Knights who pulled away in the final period as Crestview moved to 18-1 on the season with a 53-40 win over the Raiders.

Leading 38-36 at the end of three periods, Crestview used a quick three-pointer by Kalen Etzler and a basket from Drew Kline to push the margin to 43-36.

From there, the Raiders never recovered.

After a basket by Wayne Trace’s Josiah Linder, consecutive three-pointers by Javin Etzler and Derick Dealey extended the lead to 49-38 and the Knights cruised from there.

“I thought the guys showed a lot of resolve and played with a purpose tonight,” noted Crestview head coach Jeremy Best. “I was very proud of the way we handled ourselves and kept our poise.”

For three periods, it was a tight game between a pair of “friendly” rivals.

Wayne Trace jumped out first, opening a 9-3 lead in the first quarter before the Knights came storming back.

A trey by Colton Lautzenheiser and a basket from Wade Sheets trimmed the Knight deficit to 9-8 but a Jace Vining basket put Wayne Trace on top 11-9.

However, the Knights responded with two Sheets free throws and a Brant Richardson bucket for a 13-11 advantage.

The Raiders then got a Trae Sinn basket just before the quarter break to knot the game at 13-13 at the end of eight minutes of action.

“We battled,” said Raider head coach Jim Linder. “I am very proud of the effort we got out of our kids and there are a lot of positives we can take out of this.”

Trailing 19-17 in the second quarter, the Knights closed the first half with seven straight points.

Javin Etzler hit a pair free throws in the run with Lautzenheiser converting a three-point play as Crestview took a 22-19 lead. The Knights then finished off the half with a Javin Etzler basket to put the visitors on top 24-19 at the break.

“Our bench did a good job for us tonight,” Best added. “We know we are going to need them to step up and make plays and they came in and did that.”

Wayne Trace made its final run in the third quarter.

With the Knights on top 29-21, a three-point play from Vining and a basket by Nate Gerber trimmed the Raider deficit to 29-26.

Following a three-pointer by Sheets, a pair of Linder treys helped to get the Raiders within 32-30.

After the two teams traded three-pointers, Linder added a pair of free throws and Vining hit one of two to get Wayne Trace within 38-36 at the end of three periods.

Javin Etzler led the Knights in the contest with 14 points with Kaden Etzler and Dealey both recording nine.

Josiah Linder topped Wayne Trace with 17 points while Reid Miller and Jace Vining both posted six for the Raiders, who fall to 14-5 on the season.

“It was a good game between two teams who played pretty good defensive basketball,” Best said. “The game had a good atmosphere and both teams brought good crowds.”

Wayne Trace’s junior varsity improved to 16-3 on the season with a 44-32 win over the Knights.

Trevor Sinn led the way for the Raiders with 18 points while Cameron Sinn and Grayson McClure both scored nine markers.

Brody Brecht and Carson Kreischer each bucketed nine for Crestview.