The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Aug. 19, 2022

C’view stymies Ottoville for regional spot

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor

DEFIANCE — A late fourth quarter surge allowed top seeded Crestview to pull away from No. 3 seed Ottoville in the much anticipated Division IV girls district championship at Defiance High School on Saturday.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye, a six point lead turned into a 16 point advantage in a 51-35 win. The victory puts the Lady Knights (21-3) in the regionals, or the round of 16 on Thursday.

Not even four Ottoville players could stop Crestview’s Laci McCoy from grabbing this rebound during Saturday’s district championship game. McCoy finished with 12 rebounds. Bob Barnes/Van Wert independent

A basket by Ottoville’s Nicole Knippen cut Crestview’s lead to six, 38-32 but after a bit of a scoring lull by both teams, the Lady Knights put the game out of reach by rattling off 10 unanswered points, five each by freshman guard Cali Gregory and senior guard Olivia Cunningham. One of the buckets was a trey by Gregory, who finished with nine points. Cunningham finished with a game leading 14 points, with 12 coming in the second half.

While happy with the late run by his team, Crestview head coach Mark Gregory was especially pleased the defensive effort of the Lady Knights throughout the game. Crestview surprised everyone by coming out in a man-to-man defense, a departure from the usual mix of zone defenses used by the Lady Knights, and it helped hold (17-8) to 30 percent shooting and single digits in three of the four quarters.

“Everybody just did their job so well,” Gregory said. “Bailey Gregory held Nicole Knippen, one of the best players in northwest Ohio to 10 points. It wasn’t just Bailey, we had four girls ready to help at any time”

“Offensively we did a lot of good things but defense wins championships, and I can’t express how proud I am,” Gregory added.

The coach also lauded the duo of Myia Etzler, who returned from an injury that forced her to miss six games but scored 13 points and pulled down eight rebounds against Ottoville, and Laci McCoy, who controlled the boards throughout the night.

“Laci McCoy – what can I say about her, 12 rebounds and six points, she did it all tonight,” Gregory said. “Great effort by Myia on both ends. She was very aggressive and changed the game. Her foot is feeling better and her conditioning is getting better.”

Seven of Etzler’s points came in the first quarter and the Lady Knights held an 11-10 lead at the end of the period. Etzler, McCoy and Gregory each scored four points in the second quarter, enough to counter a pair of treys by Ottoville’s Skylar Turnward and one by Elise Kramer.

Cunningham scored seven points in the third quarter and Crestview led by as many as 11 before a late triple by Turnwald pulled Ottoville to within eight, 36-28 at the end of the period.

Crestview will face Toledo Christian in the Division IV regional semifinals at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday.

Scoring summary

Crestview 11 12 13 15 – 51
Ottoville 10 9 9 7 – 35

Crestview: Brynn Putman 0-2-2; Bailey Gregory 3-1-7; Cali Gregory 4-0-9; Laci McCoy 3-0-6; Myia Etzler 6-0-13; Olivia Cunningham 5-3-14

Ottoville: Tori Thomas 1-2-5; Alexa Honigford 0-2-2; Skylar Turnwald 3-0-9; Elise Kramer 2-0-5; Nicole Knippen 4-2-10; Grace Gamble 2-0-4

Crestview’s Myia Etzler (15) goes high to the hoops to score two points against Ottoville. The freshman finished with 13 points and eight rebounds. Bob Barnes photo

POSTED: 02/28/21 at 9:46 pm. FILED UNDER: Sports