The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Feb. 26, 2024

Random Thoughts: strictly basketball

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

This week’s edition of Random Thoughts centers completely around high school basketball, including good luck wishes, Van Wert, Wayne Trace, Crestview and public vs. private schools.

Good luck

Best of luck to the Crestview Knights as they make their first state semifinal boys basketball appearance since the 2018-2019 season.

Ironically, that was the year Crestview defeated Richmond Heights in the semifinals and beat Berlin-Hiland for the Division IV state title.

Van Wert

The second quarter cost Van Wert dearly against Lutheran West on Saturday. Even so, the Cougars fought back and made it a seven point game more than halfway through the fourth quarter. Van Wert was just that kind of team – absolutely no quit in them.

I really do think they frustrated the Longhorns as the game went on. Lutheran West was accustomed to getting in a knockout punch against their opponents and they never really did it against Van Wert, even when the lead was 19.


I couldn’t help but notice a lot of disappointed faces on Van Wert’s team and understandably so. However, this was a special team and did things no other Cougar basketball team had done in many years. It may sting for a while but one day they’ll look back and realize all the great things they were able to accomplish.

Wayne Trace

I have to admit, I didn’t picture Wayne Trace and Ottawa-Glandorf going to two overtimes. That’s not a knock on the Raiders, who literally left everything they had on the court.

There was a time in the first overtime that I thought they were going to pull it out, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Postseason success

This information comes from Crestview High School Principal Dave Bowen.

For anyone wondering, Crestview athletic teams have participated in 19 state Final Fours in the last 20 years with five state championships and four state runner-up finishes.

State champions: 2005, 2012, 2016 softball; 2014, 2019 boys basketball.

State runner-up: 2003 boys basketball; 2003, 2009, 2011 softball.

Total final four appearances by state: softball 9; boys basketball 4; girls basketball 3; baseball 2, volleyball 1.

Those are some pretty impressive numbers.

Public vs. private

If you’re keeping track, out of the 16 teams semifinal basketball teams in four divisions, nine are public schools and seven are private or parochial.

All four schools in Division IV are public schools. Three of the four in Division II are parochial schools.

If you have thoughts on any of the above subjects, feel free to email me at

POSTED: 03/14/23 at 3:38 am. FILED UNDER: Sports