Late 11-0 run seals sectional title for Lady Knights
Monday, February 24, 2014 12:26 AM
By Kevin Wannemacher
Crestview junior Lyndsey Motycka eyes a shot from the low block as a St. John’s defender protects the basket during the Lady Knights’ 45-29 win in the sectional finals on Saturday evening. Motycka led the Crestview attack with 17 points. (Times Bulletin/Angela Stith)
Times Bulletin Business Manager
VAN WERT — Delphos St. John’s gave Crestview all the Knights could handle for three-and-a-half quarters of Saturday’s Division IV sectional championship at Van Wert High School.
However, the Lady Knights used an 11-0 run late in the fourth quarter to seal a 45-29 victory over the Blue Jays to advance to Thursday’s district semifinal against Pandora-Gilboa at Lima Senior High School.
The Knights, now 21-1, take on the Rockets (16-8) at 6:15 p.m. at the home of the Spartans.
Trailing 30-22 at the end of three quarters, the Lady Blue Jays got buckets from Erica Saine and Sydney Fischbach along with a pair of foul shots by Jessica Geise to get within 32-28.
“The girls battled all night long, and we had an opportunity there in the fourth quarter,” commented Blue Jay head coach Dan J. Grothouse. “You have to give Crestview credit though, they came up with some big plays when they had to.”
“We knew coming in that they would be a challenge for us, and it would be a struggle,” Crestview coach Greg Rickard stated. “They do a great job defensively, and you don’t get a lot of good looks against them.”
Crestview, though, got a big shot from Terra Crowle, as the junior guard hit a 3-pointer from the wing in front of the Knight bench, that returned the momentum to the Knights and pushed the lead to 35-28.
“That was a big shot,” Grothouse continued. “We had gotten some of the momentum back on our side and then they answered right there.”
Crowle’s trey ignited an 11-0 run that sealed the Knight win, expanding the margin to 43-28 before the Blue Jays were able to score again.
Crestview hit 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch, getting two each by Mackenzie Riggenbach and Kennis Mercer while Lindsey Motycka and Emily Bauer each connected on one charity toss.
“The girls did a good job of stepping up and hitting free throws there when we had to,” Rickard continued.
Geise broke the run by converting a foul shot for Delphos St. John’s to make it 43-29 but Motycka added two more Knight free throws to wrap up the 45-29 victory.
“I am very proud of the efforts these girls gave tonight and all season,” Grothouse continued. “They gave it everything they had and that’s all I can ask from them.”
The two squads were tied at 6-6 after one quarter before the Knights tried to open the game up in the second stanza.
A Kirstin Hicks bucket followed by a Riggenbach trey and a Mercer basket put the Lady Knights in front 13-7 with 5:23 left in the half.
After Delphos St. John’s got within 15-12 on a pair of Geise free throws, consecutive buckets by Crowle and Motycka pushed the Knight lead to 19-12 at the intermission.
Crestview widened the margin to 27-18 in the third quarter, using a three-point play from Bauer and a Motcyka free throw before expanding it to 30-20 following a Riggenbach triple.
However, the Lady Blue Jays picked up a pair of Geise free throws to get back within eight at the end of three periods.
The loss ended the careers of four Blue Jay seniors. Emilie Fischbach, Brooke Zuber, Erica Saine and Amanda Boberg all wore the St. John’s uniform for the final time on Saturday.
“The seniors have provided great leadership all year long,” Grothouse stated. “They have been a key part of this team and have helped lead this team through the ups and downs we have seen this year. This is a quality group of girls, and I am very proud of the way they have led this squad and shown the younger players what needs to be done on and off the floor to become better basketball players and better people.”
Geise scored 17 points to top the Blue Jays, who finish the year with a record of 8-16, while also grabbing five rebounds. Fischbach added five points and four boards while Saine chipped in four points. Rebekah Fischer also had three points for St. John’s.
Motycka had 14 points for the Lady Knights while Bauer and Riggenbach added eight points apiece. Riggenbach topped Crestview with six rebounds and five assists while Motycka and Hicks each picked up four boards.
“Right now, they key is to just keep advancing,” closed Rickard. “Every game is going to be a tough one at this point and we just have to come ready to play every night.”
Score by quarters
St. John’s 6 6 10 7- 29
Crestview 6 13 11 15- 45
St. John’s (29)
Vorst 0, Fischer 3, E. Fischbach 0, Zuber 0, Pohlman 0, Saine 2, Boberg 0, Benevidez 0, Geise 17, Hays 2, S. Fischbach 5
Crowle 5, Mercer 4, Riggenbach 8, Bauer 8, Motycka 16, Hicks 4