The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, Jun. 18, 2024

Treece scores 40, leads VW past Knights

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — Owen Treece scored a career high 40 points to lead Van Wert over Crestview 59-53 in the season opener for both teams at Ray Etzler Gymnasium on Friday night.

Treece, the team’s lone returning starter from last season, connected on 12 baskets, including six three pointers and was a perfect 10-of-10 from the foul line.

“He’s a sports junkie, he puts in a lot of time,” Van Wert head coach Ben Laudick said. “We missed a lot of open shots tonight and it just so happened that Owen had it rolling.”

The 5-10 junior scored 13 of Van Wert’s 15 fourth quarter points, including six straight free throws with less than 20 seconds left to seal the victory in Laudick’s debut as head coach.

Owen Treece (5) drives in for two of his 40 points against the Crestview Knights during Friday’s season opener. Wyatt Richardson/Van Wert independent

“It’s exciting,” Laudick said. “Our guys have put in a lot of work and they’re trying to buy into what we’re doing. We’re not going to be perfect, but we’re getting everything we can from them and that’s all we can ask.”

Crestview was without the services of 6-8 junior Kalen Etzler, who was out with a medical issue, but Carson Kreischer and JJ Ward combined to give Crestview an 8-3 lead halfway through the first quarter. However, the Cougars finished the period on a 6-0 run, including back-to-back treys by Treece that gave the visitors a 13-11 lead at the end of the period. Each team had a trio of three-pointers in the opening quarter.

Each team scored 13 points in the second quarter, with Treece scoring eight of those points for Van Wert, and Ward adding six more for Crestview. A free throw by Jake Hilleary with 55 seconds left until halftime gave the Cougars a 21-15 lead, but the Knights stormed back and tied the game 24-24, before Parker Conrad grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to beat the buzzer.

Each team scored 18 points in the third quarter, including a three-quarter court shot by Ward that ended the period. Kreischer chipped in with six points in the quarter and Short added four, all on foul shots. Ward finished with a team high 16 points, while Kreischer and Short each scored 13.

The Knights stayed within two for much of the fourth quarter, but free throws down the stretch by Van Wert proved to be the difference.

“A lot of times in the second half we would make good play, get back in the game and get it to two, but Treece was phenomenal,” Crestview head coach Doug Etzler said. “We were face guarding him in the second half and he still did a great job of catching it where he wanted to catch it, and he created separation. It was like we couldn’t get over the hump because of how good he was tonight.”

Despite the loss in his first game as Crestview’s head coach, Etzler was pleased with his team’s effort.

“Our effort and our execution from our scrimmages to the game went to a whole other level,” Etzler said. “We still have a lot of things to clean up, but if we can be gritty team like that and play hard, it gives us a chance.”

The Knights finished the game 19 of 36 from the floor, 9-of-11 from the free throw line with 11 turnovers. The Cougars finished 20-of-40 from the field, 11-of-14 from the foul line and 10 turnovers. Van Wert had a 25-19 rebounding advantage.

“We made some free throws down the stretch and we made some very crucial rebounds when we needed to,” Laudick said.

Both teams are back in action Saturday night. Crestview (0-1) will host Miller City, while Van Wert (1-0) will entertain Lincolnview.

Scoring summary

Crestview 11 13 18 11 — 53
Van Wert 13 13 18 15 — 59

Crestview: Kaden Short 3-6-13; Gavin Etzler 2-0-6; Brody Brecht 1-1-4; Carson Kreischer 4-0-13; JJ Ward 6-2-16; Nathan Lichtle 0-1-1

Van Wert: Clayton Proffitt 1-0-3; Owen Treece 12-10-40; Keaton Brown 3-0-6; Nathan Jackson 1-0-3; Parker Conrad 2-0-4; Jake Hilleary 1-1-3

JV: Van Wert 51-30

POSTED: 11/30/19 at 12:24 am. FILED UNDER: Sports