The Van Wert County Courthouse

Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022

Knights hang on to win sectional title

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

BLUFFTON — No. 8 seed Crestview survived a bit of a slow start and a wild finish to upset No. 3 seed Delphos St. John’s 40-37 and capture the upper bracket Division IV sectional championship at Bluffton University on Friday.

The victory avenged a 58-37 regular season loss to the Blue Jays and it advanced the Knights to next week’s district semifinals.

Crestview head coach Doug Etzler celebrates after the Knights won a sectional title with a 40-37 victory over Delphos St. John’s. Wyatt Richardson/Van Wert independent

Crestview (13-11) went up three on a free throw by Kalen Etzler, but Delphos St. John’s (14-8) hit a trey with three seconds left, only to have it waved off by a timeout and the Knights were able to hang on from there.

“Obviously at the end we got helped out with a timeout call when they hit a three that would have tied it,” Crestview head coach Doug Etzler said. “I’m really proud of our guys. They have kept believing and have been getting a little better every day. It’s really good to see their hard work pay off tonight.”

Matthew Kahny got the Blue Jays off to a good start by draining three treys in the opening quarter to help his team lead 13-9 at the end of the period. He went on to finish with 12 points, while Carson Kreischer accounted for four of Crestview’s points in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Gavin Etzler and JJ Ward each hit a triple and Crestview held the Blue Jays to just seven points on the way to a 22-20 halftime lead.

“We got off to a rough start with Kahny hitting some big early threes for them,” the elder Etzler explained. “We were playing off of him and having Kalen stay in the paint to guard against their ability to drive. After Kahny hit those shots we switched to a 2-3 zone did a great job of communicating their cutters and not giving them anything easy.”

“Offensively we stayed patient and didn’t get rattled when we fell behind,” Etzler added. “We kept taking good shots and possession by possession we climbed back in it.”

Carson Kreischer scored six of his game high 14 points in the third quarter, while Brady Parrish scored five in the period and the Knights led 34-30 entering the fourth quarter.

Gavin Etzler hit a triple to account for half of Crestview’s points in the final period.

The Knights were 17-31 (52 percent) from the floor and 4-6 from the foul line with 17 rebounds, including seven by Kalen Etzler. Delphos St. John’s was 15-36 shooting (42 percent), 0-2 from the free throw line with 16 rebounds.

Crestview, the defending Division IV state champions, will face Associated Press poll champion and No. 1 seed Columbus Grove (23-0) at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Elida. The Bulldogs advanced with a 59-35 win over Ada.

Scoring summary

St. John’s 13 7 10 7 – 37
Crestview 9 13 12 6 – 40

Delphos St. John’s: Isaac Fairchild 1-0-2; Matthew Kahny 4-0-12; Aiden Rode 2-0-6; Landon Elwer 1-0-2; Brady Parrish 5-0-11

Crestview: Kalen Etzler 2-4-8; Gavin Etzler 2-0-6; Brody Brecht 2-0-4; Carson Kreischer 7-0-14; JJ Ward 3-0-8

POSTED: 02/28/20 at 11:49 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports