The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jul. 2, 2022

Coaches Corner: C’view’s Best & Gregory

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — It was a fun weekend of basketball for Crestview players and fans. The Knights wrapped up an outright Northwest Conference championship with a win at Columbus Grove on Friday, while the Lady Knights captured the Division III upper bracket sectional championship at Lincolnview with a victory over Hicksville on Saturday.

Jeremy Best

Crestview finished the regular season 19-3 (8-0 NWC) and won the conference championship for the 18th time in school history. Along the way, the Knights outscored NWC opponents by an average of 68-41.

“This group played very well in our conference games this year and they earned the right to win the Northwest Conference,” head coach Jeremy Best said.

Jeremy Best

Crestview’s last loss was on December 27, at Ottoville (52-48). Since then, the Knights have won 15 consecutive games and Best said he’s pleased with his team’s focus.

“I like how our team is playing with a sense of confidence and urgency,” Best stated. “They are enjoying all the aspects of being a member of a team.”

With the regular season in the books, the Knights have a collective eye on the postseason. Crestview is the No. 1 seed at the Division IV Elida district and opted for a bye in the opening round. That means the Knights will play the winner of Tuesday’s sectional semifinal game between Parkway and Antwerp at 6 p.m. on Friday at Van Wert High School. The winner of that game will advance to next Tuesday’s district semifinals at Elida.

Best noted the sectional/district is a strong one, Wayne Trace, Delphos St. John’s, Fort Jennings, Ottoville, Hicksville, Lincolnview, Ayersville, and the aforementioned Parkway and Antwerp.

“This sectional and district is very balanced with many talented teams and good coaches,” Best said. “You are going to have to play very well and be locked in to advance in this district.”

Mark Gregory

Not to be outdone, the Lady Knights won their 12th consecutive game by playing a suffocating style of defense and defeating Hicksville 28-19 to claim a Division III sectional championship at Lincolnview on Saturday.

The win avenged a 44-28 regular season loss to the Lady Aces, and head coach Mark Gregory said the rematch was one his team relished.

Mark Gregory

“We have a lot of respect for Hicksville and their program, but we really wanted a chance to play them again,” Gregory explained. “We were very disappointed in how we played against them the first time and without Ally McCoy (injury). I didn’t have to do any convincing to my players, they wanted the opportunity.”

Crestview (18-6) held Hicksville to just five first half points, then survived an early fourth quarter scare when the Lady Aces pulled to within three (22-19).

“I was very pleased with our defensive pressure, our patience, and our ability to maintain our composure when things were getting close,” Gregory said. “We took care of the ball and made free throws down the stretch when it mattered most. That is a sign of a team on a mission and that cares for one another.”

Crestview will play Coldwater (19-5) in the Division III district semifinals at Elida at 8 p.m. on Thursday. The first game of the night (6:15 p.m.) will pit Ottawa-Glandorf against Spencerville.

The Lady Knights and the Lady Cavaliers met during the regular season, with Coldwater registering a 60-43 win.

“This district is very strong, but we are solely focused on Coldwater,” Gregory said. “One day at a time, one game at a time. They do so many things well. They have a lot of talent, quickness and size, and they play in a great league.”

“It will be a great match up for us,” Gregory added. “ We are looking forward to the challenge.”

POSTED: 02/27/18 at 12:05 am. FILED UNDER: Sports