Tyson Bolenbaugh (32) posts up versus a Paulding defender during the first half of the Knights’ 49-39 win on Tuesday. Crestview moved to 19-0 on the year with the win. (Times Bulletin/Tina Eley)
By Sean LaFontaine
Times Bulletin Correspondent
CONVOY — The Crestview Knights hosted the Paulding Panthers in an unusual mid-week conference matchup on Tuesday night. The physical Panthers gave Crestview all they could handle, but they Knights held Paulding off for a 49-39 Northwest Conference victory.
Crestview started the game off with a long first possession that ran almost a minute and a half off the game clock. The Knights made the most of their time and ended the long trip with a three from senior Damian Helm.
Senior Tyson Bolenbaugh added a basket on their next trip down the floor and later made a free throw to give Crestview an early 6-0 lead.
Paulding stormed back with a 6-0 run to tie the game. The teams played evenly until sophomore Connor Lautzenheiser hit a three with just under a minute left in the first quarter to give the Knights a 13-10 lead, which is where the first-quarter scoring ended.
Crestview extended its lead to seven early in the second quarter after back-to-back baskets by Bolenbaugh put Crestview up 17-10.
After Paulding fought back to get within one at 17-16, Lautzenheiser hit a jump shot and followed it with a 3-point basket. Cam Etzler later added a pair of free throws to give the Knights a 24-16 lead. Paulding added a three to cut the Crestview lead to 24-19 just before the half.
Paulding refused to go away. The Panthers fought their way back to get within one mid-way through the third quarter, but, like they had all night, Crestview responded.
With the score 28-27 in favor of the Knights, Lautzenheiser started an 8-0 run with a pair of free throws. Bolenbaugh and Helm added baskets on consecutive possessions and then Etzler hit a layup off a nice drive just before the half ended. The run put Crestview up 36-27 going into the fourth quarter and proved to be the difference in the game.
The Panthers closed the lead to eight early in the final quarter, but that was as close as they got. Crestview led by as many as 13 in the fourth quarter and sealed the deal in the fourth quarter on their way to a 49-39 victory.
Helm led the scoring for Crestview with 14 points, including connecting on 2-of-3 from downtown. Bolenbaugh added 11 for the Knights while Etzler and Lautzenheiser each had 10 a piece.
Crestview coach Jeremy Best was pleased with the effort and fight he saw in his team on Tuesday night.
“Paulding doesn’t give you anything, you have to earn every possession and everything you do they make you earn,” said Best. “Their good defensively with their match-up zone. They put a lot off pressure on you out of that match-up zone which isn’t very common, and I was pleased with the way we handled it. I thought we imposed our will more there in the third quarter where they did a better job of that in the second quarter. For us to continue to play at the high level we have been so far, that is hard to do.”
The victory keeps Crestview perfect on the season at 19-0 and moves them to 6-0 in the NWC. The Knights maintain a one game lead over Spencerville and Linconlview for first place in the conference.
The Knights will look to keep that lead when the head to Bluffton Friday night to take on the Pirates.
Score by quarters
Paulding 10 9 8 12 – 39
Crestview 13 11 12 13 – 49
Vance 6, Kauser 9, T. Gonzlez 8, Salinas 8, Ge. Harder 3, Gu. Harder 5
Zaleski 2, Etzler 10, Lautzenheiser 10, Helm 14, Rickard 2, Bolenbaugh 11