By Jim Cox
LIMA — Crestview turned in an all-around solid performance in
Thursday night’s Division IV district semifinal against Pandora-Gilboa.
Still, it wasn’t until halfway through the fourth quarter when, Terra
Crowle buried her fourth 3-pointer of the game, that Lady Knight fans
could relax and enjoy it.
The final result was a 56-42 Crestview
win that advances the Knights (22-1) to Saturday night’s 7:00 p.m. final
versus Leispic. The Lady Vikings defeated Putnam County League rival
Ottoville in Thursday’s other semifinal match-up, 47-44.
a damper on the victory, however, as Crestview’s Kennis Mercer went out
with a knee injury with 1:56 left in the game. The feisty lefty point
guard was on crutches afterwards. A Friday MRI will reveal the extent of
Although leading only once at 3-2, the pesky Lady
Rockets (16-9) managed to stay within striking distance, barely, until
Crowle’s dagger from the right corner made it 50-34 with 4:12 left in
Lindsey Motycka’s six points, and treys from Mackenzie
Riggenbach and Mercer, sparked Crestview to a 14-4 lead after one.
Crowle then entered the fray and promptly swished a trifecta to make it
17-4, but that’s when the Rockets warmed up, going on a four-minute 14-6
spurt to get within 23-18 at the 3:50 mark.
“That was where we
had our turnovers,” said Knight coach Greg Rickard of P-G’s second
quarter run. “I think we had six at halftime, and four were in that
stretch. We let ‘em right back in the game. We gave them extra
possessions, and they scored out of it. They wanted it to be an up-tempo
game, and we didn’t want it to be, because we knew that was their
Motycka answered the Rocket run with an old-style
three-point play. She then added a 17-foot jumper from the left wing and
one of two free throws in an 8-2 run to make it 31-20, Knights, with
eight seconds left in the half. The Rockets’ Hunter Hermiller hit two
freebies, her fifth and sixth in as many tries in the first half, to
make it 31-22 at the break.
The Knights’ halftime lead was due
largely to better shooting. Crestview hit 10-of-23 (43 percent) from the
field, while P-G landed only 6-of-21 (29 percent). Five of the Knight
buckets, one by Mercer and two each from Crowle and Riggenbach, were
from long range. The Rockets hit two treys, getting one each by
Hermiller and Olivia Maag.
Motycka even got into the long-range
act, draining one from the right wing halfway through the third stanza
to push the lead out to 38-26. Two minutes later Crowle drained her
third triple, and Mercer’s nifty six-foot floater at 0:43 gave Crestview
a 43-30 lead after three.
The veteran Rockets, who started five
seniors, had the better of it in turnovers, 10-15, and free throws, 78
percent (7-of-9) to 67 percent (12-of-18). However, the Lady Knights
dominated the boards, 31-19, and the field goal shooting, hitting 47
percent (18-for-38) for the game to 32 percent (16-for-50) for the
“They (the Rockets) have nice size, they’re quick,
aggressive defensively,” said Rickard. “We shot really well from the
perimeter. We got the ball inside, which we thought we could because
they played behind a lot. For us, the key was taking care of the ball.
We had some spells where we had turnovers, but most of the time we took
care of the ball. We did a great job on the boards, limiting them to one
shot, which was huge.”
Motycka, Emily Bauer, and Crowle led
Crestview’s scoring with 17, 14, and 12, respectively. Megan Maag, a
1000-point career scorer, had 18 for Pandora-Gilboa. Hermiller added 11
for the Rockets while Olivia Maag scored 9 points in the loss.
Score by quarters
Pandora-Gilboa 4 18 8 12- 42
Crestview 14 17 12 13- 56
2, Hermiller 11, Olivia Maag 9, Megan Maag 18, Abelovska 2, Alexa Maag
0, Watkins 0, Swary 0, Breanna Hovest 0, Brittany Hovest 0
Mercer 7, Riggenbach 6, Bauer 14, Motycka 17, Hicks 0, Crowle 12, Hartman 0, Grote 0, Zaleski 0