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Tuesday, Jul. 23, 2024

Knights ready for 2020-21 hoops season

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — With a number of returning starters and letter winners on the roster, Crestview is hoping to improve on last year’s 13-11 (4-4 NWC) finish. 

Head coach coach Doug Etzler is entering his second season at Crestview and he has four regular starters back from last year – 6-8 senior forward Kalen Etzler, who recently signed his letter of intent to play basketball at Ohio State, 6-3 senior post player Carson Kreischer, 6-1 sophomore guard Gavin Etzler and 6-0 junior guard JJ Ward. 6-0 senior forward Brody Brecht and 6-0 sophomore wing Nathan Lichtle also saw varsity time last season, and 6-0 junior guard Rontae Jackson and sophomore guards Carson Hunter (6-1) and Mitch Temple (6-0) are competing for playing time this season.

OSU signee Kalen Etzler is back for the Crestview Knights. Wyatt Richardson photo

“Right now we have a solid group of nine guys that I feel comfortable playing,” Etzler said of the 2020-2021 Knights. “Each player has improved from last year.  There is competition for playing time this year so it has made our practices much more competitive.”

“I would say we are a little ahead of where we were at this time last year,” Etzler continued. “Our guys understand what we are trying to accomplish at both ends of the floor and they all understand the terminology that we are using. The guys also have a better understanding of the speed and physicality of the varsity level game.”

“We have had some good opponents for the scrimmages we took part in this year and tried to test ourselves to see where we are at. “I have been pleased with how our guys have played.”

Etzler also acknowledged that his players seem a bit more comfortable entering the season. 

“It was a learning year last year with us being very inexperienced and me being a new coach for them with a new set of offensive sets for everyone to learn,” the coach explained. “Our guys are more comfortable with each other also and have a better understanding of what their teammates can do. I think we can have a very balanced scoring group.”

“Kalen is going to gain the most attention defensively every night, but I feel we have a group of guys that feel comfortable to step up and hit shots this year.”

As far as the Northwest Conference race, Etzler said it should be a competitive one with several teams in the mix for the title.

“I think you have to put Columbus Grove out in front with the season they had last year and all of the players they have returning,” Etzler said. “Lincolnview is another team that will be very good – they return all of their starters from last season. I also think Spencerville will be very good.”

“They were playing well at the end of last season and were very young. I think with the experience we have coming back we should be very competitive every night also. I really think the league will be balanced this year.”

Friday night’s scheduled opener against the Van Wert Cougars was postponed due to Van Wert’s run to the state football championship. The season opener is now scheduled for tonight at Miller City.

Other non-conference opponents on this season’s schedule include Lima Central Catholic, Parkway, Fort Recovery, Fort Jennings, Delphos St. John’s, Kalida, Tinora, Arlington, Celina, Hicksville and Wayne Trace. The Knights are also scheduled to face Fort Loramie in the Martin Luther King Classic in mid-January.

POSTED: 11/28/20 at 2:01 am. FILED UNDER: Sports