The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023

Hoops preview: Cougars, Lancers, Knights

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

Roughly two thirds of the 2019-2020 boys’ high school basketball regular season is complete and once again, Van Wert, Crestview and Lincolnview each have two games on their respective schedules this weekend.

Van Wert at Kenton, at Bryan (2 p.m. JV start)

The Cougars (3-11, 1-4 WBL) will head to Kenton on Friday, then will travel to Bryan for an afternoon game that was postponed on January 18.

Heading into the weekend, Van Wert has lost four straight, including games to state ranked Shawnee on Friday and Coldwater on Saturday. The Cougars are averaging 50.4 points per game while giving up 60 points per game.

Kenton (1-7, 4-1 WBL) currently averages 54.9 points per game and gives up 54.1 points per contest. After Friday’s game, Kenton’s next three games are against Shawnee, Ottawa-Glandorf and Bluffton.

Bryan enters the weekend 11-4 and will play at Delta on Friday night. The Golden Bears emphasize defense and allow just 39 points per game. In eight games, Bryan has allowed 37 points or less. In terms of offense, the Golden Bears average 45.6 points per game.

Individual stats were not available for Van Wert, Kenton or Bryan.

Both of Van Wert’s games will air live on WERT 1220AM/104.3FM.

Crestview vs. Lima Central Catholic, at Hicksville

For the first time this season Crestview (7-9) has won three straight and the Knights will try to continue their winning ways Friday at home against Lima Central Catholic and Saturday at Hicksville.

Crestview is averaging 49.5 points and giving up 51 points per game, and Kalen Etzler leads the Knights in scoring with 17 points and 10.2 rebounds per outing. Carson Kreischer averages 11.1 points and 4.8 boards per game, followed by Kaden Short (5.9 ppg), JJ Ward (5.4 ppg) and Gavin Etzler (5.1 ppg).

Lima Central Catholic (8-7) averages 58 points per game while giving up 53.8 points per contest. The Thunderbirds haven’t played since January 21.

Six of Lima Central Catholic’s losses have come to teams that are or were state ranked: two losses to Shawnee, along with Ottawa-Glandorf, Versailles, Delphos St. John’s and Lima Sr. The only other loss was to Perry, a team that’s currently 11-4.

Individual statistics for the Thunderbirds were not available.

Crestview won last year’s game 54-42.

Hicksville is currently 11-4 and will play at Edgerton on Friday. The Aces enter the weekend averaging 49.2 points per game, while giving up just 38 points per contest and have allowed 37 points or less in eight games.

Landon Turnbull is the team leader in points, averaging 21.4 per game and he pulls down 6.7 rebounds per game. Jackson Bergman averages 7.9 points and a team leading 7.8 points per outing, while Travian Tunis scores 6.8 points per game.

The Knights won last year’s game 60-35.

Saturday’s Crestview at Hicksville game will air live on 99.7 WKSD.

Lincolnview vs. Delphos Jefferson, at Delphos St. John’s

After splitting last weekend’s games against Allen East and Parkway, the Lancers (7-8, 3-1 NWC) will get a double dose of Delphos this weekend, with the Jefferson Wildcats coming in on Friday, and a trip to Robert Arnzen Gymnasium to play the St. John’s Blue Jays on Saturday.

Lincolnview remains in the NWC title hunt, although the Lancers will need to win their remaining conference games and get a little help.

Entering the weekend, Lincolnview is averaging 52.6 points per game while allowing 57.3 points per outing. Creed Jessee averages 13.1 points and 4.5 rebounds per game, followed by Collin Overholt (9.7 ppg), Jake Bowersock (8.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg), Aaron Cavinder (6.9 ppg), Clayton Leeth (5.9 ppg) and Landon Price (5.6 ppg).

Delphos Jefferson’s overall record is 7-8 but the Wildcats are 4-0 in NWC play, meaning they control their own destiny in the conference title race. However, it’s not an easy road ahead with Lincolnview, Columbus Grove, Bluffton and Spencerville left on the schedule.

The Wildcats average 51.3 points per game and are led by Ian Wannemacher’s 13.1 points and 5.5 rebounds per contest, followed by Hunter Mericle (9.1 ppg), Doug Long Jr. (8.3 ppg), Colin Bailey (7.3 ppg) and Ashton Moore (6.4 ppg).

Lincolnview won last year’s game 71-37.

Three weeks ago, Delphos St. John’s was ranked as the No. 4 team in Division IV, but entering Friday’s game against New Bremen, the Blue Jays (10-4) lost four straight.

St. John’s is averaging 50 points and allowing 46.4 points per game, while featuring a balanced attack that’s led by Brady Parrish’s 12.9 points and 5.7 rebounds per game, followed by Aiden Rode (12.1 ppg), Isaac Fairchild (10.1 ppg).

Delphos St. John’s won last year’s game 47-41.

POSTED: 01/30/20 at 4:53 am. FILED UNDER: Sports