Senior guard Cam Etzler attacks the basket during the Knights’ win over Arlington on Saturday evening. Etzler scored a dozen points for Crestview, who stays unbeaten. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By Sean LaFountaine
Times Bulletin Correspondent
CONVOY — The Crestview Knights didn’t have long to celebrate. After a big win Friday night over then-undefeated Lima Central Catholic, the Knights had to bounce back Saturday and face the also undefeated Arlington Red Devils.
After a closely-played first half, the Knights used a big third quarter to help them pull away in the second half to defeat the Red Devils, 54-36.
The two teams played an even first half and were locked up at 19-19 after two quarters. Just when it looked like Crestview was in for another tight battle, the Knights went down low in the second half to help them pull away.
Tyson Bolenbaugh started the scoring in the second half with basket underneath, which was followed by a Damian Helm three to put the Knights up by five early in the third period.
The Red Devils stayed with Crestview and even cut the lead to three with just over two-and-a-half minutes to play in the quarter, but the Knights went on a 6-0 run to end the period. Isaiah Simerman drained a three-point field goal to get the lead to six, and then Bolenbaugh added another basket and later hit a free throw to give Crestview a 35-26 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Arlington refused to go away. With just over four minutes to play in the game, two free throws by Michael Blunk got the Red Devil’s within six again 39-33, but the Knights had one last run in them.
With just over four minutes to play in the game, Crestview went on an 11-1 that gave the Knights a 50-34 lead with under 30 seconds to play in the game. Bolenbaugh and senior Cam Etzler led the Crestview attack with four points each during the spurt.
Crestview hit some late free throws and secured a 54-36 victory, and knocked Arlington from the ranks of the unbeaten.
After the game, Crestview coach Jeremy Best spoke about the difference for his team in the second half.
“(The difference was) our inside presence with Tyson Bolenbaugh. We got him the ball and he got a little more engaged in the game and that was the difference-maker” said Best. “They played some triangle-and-two in the first half and we saw some openings, we just didn’t present ourselves to be available, but we did a better job of that in the second half.”
Their seniors led the Knights on Saturday evening. Helm led the way for Crestview with 14 points, while Bolenbaugh and Etzler chipped in 13 and 12 respectively.
Crestview shot 17-for-39 (43%) from the field including 13-for-26 (50%) from two-point range.
Best reflected on his teams big weekend, which saw Crestview hand a pair of schools their first loss of the basketball season in back-to-back nights at Ray Etzler Gymnasium..
“It was a physical weekend against two undefeated teams who played totally different styles of basketball,” said Best. “I thought we did a pretty good job of being able to adapt to both styles of play. I was pleased with our kids and we did some good things this weekend.”
The win moved Crestview to 10-0 on the season as they head into another difficult weekend. On Friday, the Knights will head to Middle Point to take on cross-county rival Lincolview, then on Saturday they will return home to take on the St. John’s Blue Jays.
Score by quarters
Arlington 10 9 7 10- 36
Crestview 11 8 16 19- 54
Zaleski 9, Etzler 12, Co. Lautzenheiser 3, Helm 14, Simerman 3, Bolenbaugh 13, Jones 0