Ottoville senior Zane Martin (34) looks to anticipate what Crestview junior Wade Sheets will do with the basketball during a boys hardwood showdown Wednesday night at Heckman Gymnasium. Big Green teammate Josh Thorbahn is ready to assist. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)
Ottoville senior Zane Martin (34) looks to anticipate what Crestview junior Wade Sheets will do with the basketball during a boys hardwood showdown Wednesday night at Heckman Gymnasium. Big Green teammate Josh Thorbahn is ready to assist. (DHI Media/Jim Metcalfe)

OTTOVILLE —Two boys basketball teams expected to have strong 2017-18 seasons hooked up before a near-packed house at L.W. Heckman Gymnasium Wednesday night as Crestview paid a visit to Ottoville’s home place.

There will be spurts when two good teams match up and Wednesday night was no exception.

The visiting Knights overcame a 10-point deficit in the fourth period to take a brief lead but the Big Green answered, getting a huge basket from senior Zane Martin with seconds left and two free throws form classmate Nick Moorman to escape with a 52-48 non-league conquest.

Ottoville (8-2 - still without seniors guard Andy Schimmoeller) led 40-34 to begin the ultimate quarter and a tough drive-and-harm by Moorman gave the green-and-gold a 44-34 edge with 7:01 left. Just as quickly, the Knights (4-3 — missing 6-7 freshman Kalen Etzler and junior Derick Dealey) rallied behind their defense, scoring the next 12 points — five by Wade Sheets, who fouled out at 3:50 — to nab a 46-44 edge on a 15-footer by Jace Vining at 3:08.

Ottoville’s response? An off-balance putback by senior Logan Kemper at 2:38 to tie it and after a Crestview turnover, a putback by freshman Ryan Suever at 1:30 for a 2-point lead. Javin Etzler buried a long deuce from the left wing at 1:05 for the final tie and Ottoville ran over a minute off the clock and used a timeout at :23.1. On the play set up by head coach Keith Utendorf, Josh Thorbahn and Moorman were running a 2-man game but had to give that up, with Martin getting the ball near the top of the key with under nine seconds left. He drove the lane, pump-faked a defender and buried a mid-lane jumper at :04.2, with Crestview calling timeout at :03.4. A turnover on the half-court pass gave the ball to Ottoville, with Moorman being fouled with 1.2 seconds to go and dropping both foul shots to seal the deal.

“Sometimes the best play is the one you don’t have set up. As Crestview did with their defense all night, they forced us into some uncomfortable situations and we reacted to it, like in that situation,” Utendorf explained. “Zane made a great play in that situation but that’s what we’re getting from our leaders; making those kinds of plays when we have to have them. That’s why we scheduled Elida and St. John’s last weekend and Crestview tonight; these are moments for our leaders to set the tone and our youngsters to grow up. We could have dropped our heads after giving up the big lead but that is what good teams like Crestview do — they come back — and we responded well.”

Crestview head coach Jeremy Best also saw some major positives from his unit during this contest.

“We came out with a better mindset than we had 6 p.m. tonight. When we fell behind like that, we took a timeout and that’s when we came together,” Best acknowledged. “What that means form this moment on, we’ll see, but I like the direction that put us on a lot better than before. We even took the lead after that but you have to give Ottoville credit; they responded well to the challenge and hit some shots down the stretch. On our last possession with a chance to tie, Javin got pushed more to the sideline than we wanted but that’s a learning time to; next time, we’ll execute it better or run something else.”

Defenses ruled the opening period. Not only did their mostly-man-to-man looks — with brief zones mixed in — force a combined 12 turnovers, the teams only hit 9-of-25 shots total. After Ottoville took the opening lead on a Kemper putback early, there was a pair of ties and the only lead change was on a drive with a second left by Sheets for a 12-11 edge, Crestview.

Ottoville had the better of it in the second stanza, taking the lead back at 17-16 on a drive by Ryan Bendele at 3:56 and continuing on, grabbing a 25-20 halftime spread on a bomb by Thorbahn from the key with 42 seconds left.

The teams played nearly even in the third period, with Ottoville netting 15 and their guests 14. When freshman Ryan Suever scored on a duck under with 21 seconds showing, Ottoville had that 40-34 edge.

Crestview’s junior varsity — led by the 11 points of Colton Lautzenheiser and 10 by Isaiah LaTurner — moved to 6-1 with a 45-17 rout.

The Big Green’s (5-5) top scorer was Joseph Miller with six.

Crestview hosts St. John’s 5:30 p.m. (JV start time) Friday, while Ottoville visit Lincolnview 6 p.m. Saturday.

VARSITY

CRESTVIEW (48)

Wade Sheets 6-12 1-1 13, Javin Etzler 4-9 0-0 10, Drew Kline 3-6 0-0 8, Derek Stout 2-4 3-4 7, Brett Schumm 1-5 0-0 3, Grant Schlagbaum 0-1 0-0 0, Jace Vining 1-1 0-0 2, Trevor Gibson 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 19-42 4-5 48.

OTTOVILLE (52)

Ryan Bendele 2-6 2-2 7, Logan Kemper 6-9 0-1 13, Ryan Suever 2-4 2-2 6, Keagan Leis 0-1 0-0 0, Drew Fisher 1-1 1-2 3, Nick Moorman 2-7 3-3 7, Zane Martin 3-7 0-0 8, Josh Thorbahn 3-5 0-0 8. Totals 19-40 8-10 52.

Score by Quarters:

Crestview 12 8 14 14 - 48

Ottoville 11 14 15 12 - 52

Total Field Goals Percentage: Crestview 45.2, Ottoville 47.5. Free Throws/Percentage: Crestview 80, Ottoville 80. Three-Point Field Goals/Percentage: Crestview 6-11/54.5 (), Ottoville 6-15/40 (Martin 2, Thorbahn 2, Bendele, Kemper). Rebounds: Crestview 16/3 off. (Kline 6), Ottoville 24/8 off. (Thorbahn 8). Assists: Crestview 12 (Sheets/Stout 3), Ottoville 8 (Thorbahn/Suever 2). Steals: Crestview 11 (Sheets/Kline 4), Ottoville 4 (Bendele/Kemper/Moorman/Martin 1). Blocks: Crestview 3 (Etzler 3), Ottoville 4 (Kemper/Leis/Moorman/Suever 1). Turnovers: Crestview 12, Ottoville 15. Fouls: Crestview 17, Ottoville 11.

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JUNIOR VARSITY

CRESTVIEW (45)

Kaden Short 3-1-7, Michael Joseph 1-0-2, Carson Kreischer 2-2-6, Jacob Forwerck 1-0-2, Kole Small 0-0-0, Tyler Hart 2-0-4, Colton Lautzenheiser 3-5-11, Brody Brecht 1-0-2, Brock Stauffer 0-1-1, Isaiah LaTurner 4-2-10. Totals 17-0-11/15-45.

OTTOVILLE (17)

Joseph Miller 2-2-6, Gino Johnson 0-0-0, Kyle Manns 0-0-0, Dalton Davis 1-0-2, Trae Schlagbaum 0-0-0, Cooper Hanneman 0-0-0, Caden Edelbrock 0-0-0, Jack Langhals 1-0-2, Kaiden Trentman 1-1-3, Grant Kortokrax 0-0-0-0, Logan Heuerman 1-0-2, Jaden Schnipke 1-0-2. Totals 7-0-3/8-17.

Score by Quarters:

Crestview 10 9 14 12 - 45

Ottoville 2 8 4 3 - 17

Three-Point Field Goals: Crestview, none; Ottoville, none.