Crestview junior Kennis Mercer drives toward the baseline during the Lady Knights’ win over Spencerville on Thursday night. Mercer had five points in the win. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By Jim Cox
Times Bulletin Correspondent
CONVOY — An aggressive Spencerville defense gave Crestview fits for the first 13 minutes Thursday night, but a 19-0 Lady Knight run followed, spurring Crestview to a 54-42 win over the feisty Lady Bearcats.
The Knights are tied with Allen East at the top of the Northwest Conference with a 6-0 record. The two league leaders clash at Allen East next Thursday. Crestview is 15-1 overall. Spencerville is now 1-6 and 2-12.
Pressure defenses by both teams and some ice cold shooting led to a 7-6 first quarter. A Lindsey Motycka put-back started the second period and gave the Knights a 9-6 advantage. However, the Lady Cats scored the next six points thanks to a Schylar Miller steal and layup, a Caitlyn Propst layup, and a Karri Purdy eight-foot runner. Suddenly, the Lady Bearcats held a 12-9 lead.
The teams traded field goals to make it 16-13, but that’s when the game took a huge turn. Crestview reeled off 19 points in a row, scoring nine before halftime and ten after. Those 19 points were divided among Emily Bauer (9), Mackenzie Riggenbach (8), and Motycka (2). The run left the home team with a 32-16 lead with 4:36 remaining in the third quarter.
“We just made poor decisions with the ball,” said Crestview coach Greg Rickard of the Knights’ early problems. “Then we did a better job of taking care of the ball and not turning it over, and we made a concerted effort to get it inside. We weren’t shooting very well from the perimeter, so once we started getting it inside, our posts did a good job of being really active. I think we had 15 or 16 assists, which is really good. I thought we moved the ball really well.”
That big lead, however, did not deter the Bearcats. who answered with a 7-1 run on a 15-foot baseliner by Karri Purdy before Megan Miller scored on a put-back and a 3-pointer. Motycka’s spinning layup ended the third period at 35-25, Knights.
Spencerville got within eight again with 6:20 remaining in the game on another 3-pointer by Megan Miller, but Bauer, Motycka, and Kirstin Hicks then took charge of the paint and the game.
Crestview’s lead reached 17 at 54-37 with a minute left. The Knights were 8-of-10 from the field in the final stanza, with seven of those eight buckets coming on layups.
Crestview out-shot Spencerville from the field 44 percent (22-for-50) to 35 percent (18-of-51) and dominated the boards, 40-18. The Lady Bearcats, however, had fewer turnovers, 11-19. Both teams had a bad night at the line, with Crestview at 47 percent (8-for-17) and Spencerville at a mere 33 percent (2-of-6).
“That (rebounding) was huge,” said Rickard. “I thought we really rebounded well tonight, considering that we weren’t that much bigger than them. I thought we did a very good job of limiting them to one shot, and getting some offensive boards for some second-chance points.”
Bauer and Motycka led all scorers with 19 and 18. Megan Miller had 14 for Spencerville.
The Crestview junior varsity improved 12-4 after their 42-24 win. Brady Guest and Leslie Skelton led the Knight scoring with 16 and 10. Tiffany Work had nine for Spencerville (1-13).
Score by quarters:
Crestview 7 15 13 19- 54
Spencerville 6 10 9 17- 42
Mercer 5, Riggenbach 8, Bauer 19, Motycka 18, Hicks 4, Crowle 0, Hartman 0, Grote 0
Hardesty 2, Meyer 7, Megan Miller 14, Merriman 0, Grigsby 0, Schylar Miller 9, Purdy 4, Probst 4, Crider 2, Bowsher 0