The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022

Knights win season opener over Miller City

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

CONVOY — Three Crestview players reached double figures to help the Knights secure a 64-57 victory over Miller City in the season opener for both teams on Saturday.

Nathan Lichtle knocked down five triples during Saturday’s win over MIller City. Wyatt Richardson for the VW independent

Nathan Lichtle led the way with 19 points, including five three-pointers, while Mitch Temple scored 16, including nine on foul shots in the fourth quarter. Rontae Jackson added 14 points and seven rebounds in the win.

“We have a lot of experience but it’s different experience this year as far as roles and what we expect of our kids to do,” Crestview head coach Doug Etzler said. “Nate getting 19, Mitch 16 and Rontae 14 – that’s big for us and we’re going to have to have different guys step up each night.”

“We’re a little different this year, we’re picking things up full court so we’re going to have to play a lot of guys,” the coach continued. “We have some guys who didn’t get in tonight but we have confidence that they’re playing well in practice and they’re going to get their number called too.”

Lichtle hit back-to-back triples in the first quarter to give Crestview an 8-6 lead, then Jackson added one late in the period and Nasir Easterling’s bucket gave the Knights a 14-13 lead after one.

Buckets by Silas Niese and Jaden Nuveman helped give the Wildcats a 20-17 lead with 4:40 left in the second quarter, but it was the final time Miller City would score in the period. A basket by Jackson and a one-handed runner by Gavin Etzler put the Knights ahead 21-20, then Temple drained a late trey to give Crestview a 24-20 halftime advantage.

The lead ballooned to double digits, 31-20, when Crestview scored the first seven points of the third quarter – a basket by Etzler, a trey by Lichtle and a shot by Easterling. Niese finally ended Miller City’s drought with a three pointer, but the Knights quickly andered with an 11-2 scoring run, including four each by Jackson and Temple and a triple by Etzler, who finished with nine points.

By the end of the third quarter, Crestview led 46-29, but Miller City (0-1) began to chip away in the final period. Austin Ruhe scored 14 of his team-high 18 points in the quarter and at point one, the Knights led by just five, 54-59. From there, Temple and Lichtle went to work at the foul line to preserve the win.

Mitch Temple hit nine free throws in the fourth quarter against Miller City. Wyatt Richardson photo

“I thought we played well in spurts and I thought we got a really good third quarter run where we got a little separation but now it’s a new situation for a lot of these kids to finish the game off,” Etzler said. “I’m proud of our guys for hitting free throws down the stretch to get the win.”

Crestview finished 19-of-47 from the floor, including 8-of-21 from beyond the three-point arc and 17-of-26 from the foul line with just eight turnovers. Miller City was 22-of-55 shooting and 7-of-9 from the free throw line with 13 turnovers. In addition to Ruhe, Niese finished in double figures with 11 points while Nuveman had eight.

The Knights had a slight advantage on the boards, 30-28, with Jackson and Easterling each grabbing seven.

Crestview (1-0) will play at Shawnee on Friday and will host Parkway on Saturday.

“Shawnee has a lot of experience but the same situation, they have guys in new roles and a lot of guys who were playing minutes last year,” Etzler said of the Indians. “It’s going to be a challenge going on the road and they’re going to be physical and we know we’re going to play in a hostile environment. It’s going to be interesting to watch our kids play on the road for the first time.”

Scoring summary

CV 14 10 22 18 – 64
MC 13 7 9 28 – 57

Crestview: Gavin Etzler 3-0-9; Rontae Jackson 5-3-14; Mitch Temple 3-9-16; Jaret Harting 1-0-2; Nathan Lichtle 5-4-19; Nasir Easterling 2-0-4

Miller City: Silas Niese 4-0-11; Aaron Schnipke 1-2-5; Thomas Weis 3-0-6; Austin Ruhe 6-5-18; Jaden Nuveman 4-0-8’ Owen Tobe 2-0-4; Lane Pester 2-0-5

JV: Crestview 40-21

POSTED: 11/29/21 at 4:52 am. FILED UNDER: Sports