The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jun. 3, 2023

Knights down Delphos St. John’s 51-37

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

CONVOY — Led by Kalen Etzler’s 15 points and 12 rebounds and a staunch defense, No. 3 seed Crestview pulled away from Delphos St. John’s 51-37 at Ray Etzler Gymnasium on Friday night.

The victory gave the Knights (18-5) a Division IV sectional championship and a spot in next week’s district semifinals. The No. 12 seed Blue Jays saw their season end at 7-16.

Kalen Etzler came up big again for Crestview, scoring 15 points and pulling down 12 rebounds against Delphos St. John’s. Bob Barnes/file photo

It seemed like the game might be a runaway early on, as Crestview jumped out to a 20-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. Etzler scored six points in the opening stanza and Carson Kreischer added five more.

However, the second quarter was different as Delphos St. John’s turned the tables and outscored the hosts 14-5 to close the gap to 25-23 at halftime. Matthew Kahny accounted for eight points in the period by hitting a trey, a bucket and three foul shots and Landen Grothaus added four points. Crestview’s only points of the quarter came on a triple by Nathan Lichtle and free throws by Etzler and Kreischer, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

“I thought we got off to a good start both offensively and defensively, Crestview head coach Doug Etzler said. “We struggled to maintain things at both ends in the second quarter and St. John’s did a good job of attacking the back and getting to the free throw line.”

The Blue Jays were able to muster just 14 second half points, with six coming in the third quarter. Four of those points came from Nolan Schwinnen, while Brody Brecht, Kreischer and Gavin Etzler combined for 10 of Crestview’s 11 points in the period.

Kalen Etzler poured in seven points in the final quarter and Rontae Jackson added six of his eight points. Crestview ended the game 18-of-43 shooting and 12-of-22 from the foul line, and the Knights enjoyed a 31-19 advantage on the boards.

“In the second half we did a good job of mixing our defenses up and getting the ball inside and getting to the free throw line,” Etzler said. “I’m really proud of our effort defensively.”

Delphos St. John’s was 12-of-37 from the floor and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. Schwinnen scored a team high 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds, and Kahny added 10 points.

Crestview will face No. 2 seed Ottoville in the Division IV district semifinals at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Elida. The two teams met on January 19, and the Big Green posted a 61-59 overtime victory.

Scoring summary

Crestview 20 5 11 15 – 51
St. John’s 9 14 6 8 – 37

Crestview: Kalen Etzler 6-3-15; Rontae Jackson 3-2-8; Gavin Etzler 1-0-2; Carson Hunter 2-0-6; Brody Brecht 3-0-6; JJ Ward 0-1-1; Carson Kreischer 2-6-10; Nathan Lichtle 1-0-3

Delphos St. John’s: Brenden Oleson 0-1-1; Matthew Kahny 3-3-10; JJ Bonifas 2-0-4; Landon Elwer 1-2-4; Nolan Schwinnen 4-1-12; Landen Grothaus 2-2-6

POSTED: 02/27/21 at 12:15 am. FILED UNDER: Sports