Owen Treece of Van Wert fights up a shot during the Cougars win over Crestview on Friday night. (DHI Media/Wyatt Richardson)
Owen Treece of Van Wert fights up a shot during the Cougars win over Crestview on Friday night. (DHI Media/Wyatt Richardson)

CONVOY — The basketball season may only be one game old, but Owen Treece may have already had the performance of the year. Treece dropped 40 points on opening night in Convoy to lead the Cougars past the Knights 59-53.

"Owen's a workhorse," said Van Wert Head Coach Ben Laudick following the game. "He's a junkie in every sport he plays and he puts in the time it takes to be great. Tonight we had to ride his hot streak and find a way to get him the ball."

With Crestview's Kalen Etzler on the sidelines, the Knights began the game in uncharted territory taking the court without its potential leading scorer.

Carson Kreischer, quite possibly the Knights most experienced player to take the court on Friday, led Crestview out of the huddle with five first quarter points and a burst of energy for the home team.

Clayton Proffitt scored the Cougars first basket of the season on a high arcing three pointer with five and a half minutes left in the first quarter.

The Knights led the majority of the opening quarter, but back to back threes from Owen Treece gave the Cougars the lead after one.

Treece carried that energy over into the second quarter when he scored the Cougars first five points of the period.

In Etzler's absence, sophomore JJ Ward stepped up and played a crucial role for the Knights on offense. Ward finished as Crestviews leading scorer on the evening with 16 points, and hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 24 late in the half.

Thanks to put back by Parker Conrad as time expired, the Cougars took a two point lead to the locker room.

The third quarter saw both teams find their offensive groove when they each put up 18 points their highest scoring quarter of the night.

Treece scored 11 of the Cougars 18, and with a little help from a Nate Jackson three pointer, and two buckets from Keaton Brown, the Cougars hung on to their two point lead through yet another quarter.

As time ran out in the third, JJ Ward hoisted a shot from three quarters court that found the bottom of the net and drew oohs and ahs from the crowd.

Brody Brecht opened the fourth by nailing a three and giving the Knights their first lead since the opening quarter, but Crestview failed to cool off Owen Treece for the rest of the game en route to his 13 point outburst that sealed a Cougar win.

The Knights kept the game within two scores all the way until just under a minute left when Treece hit four straight free throws to make the score 59-53 when the final buzzer sounded.

When asked what it was like to get a win in his first game as Head Coach of the Cougars, Ben Laudick had this to say:

"I tried to put it into words in the locker room, and I don't know if I came up with anything good, but anytime you get a win in northwest Ohio basketball it's difficult and we're happy that we did enough things right to win this game. I told the guys after the game that I cant believe I get to do this with them."

Van Wert will hit the court again on Saturday night when they face the Lincolnview Lancers in their home opener.

Box Score 1       2      3     4      T

Crestview 11     13    18   11    53

Van Wert  13     13    18   15    59

Crestview

3 Kaden Short 13 points

5 Gavin Etzler 6 points

20 Brody Brecht 4 points

23 Carson Kreischer 13 points

24 JJ Ward 16 points

25 Nathan Lichtle 1 point

Free Throws 10/12, Field Goals 7 - 3 pointers, 11 - 2 pointers.

Van Wert

5 Owen Treece 40 points

3 Clayton Proffitt 3 points

10 Keaton Brown 6 points

11 Tanner Barnhart 0 points

34 Jake Hilleary 3 points

20 Parker Conrad 4 points

12 Nate Jackson 3 points

Free throws 11/14, Field goals 8 - 3 pointers, 12 - 2 pointers.

JV Box Score 1      2      3       4       T

Crestview       9      6      9       7      31

Van Wert       11    10    17     12      50