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Crestview outworks Vikings

Crestview’s Krista Perry takes pressure from Waterloo’s Makayla Kachner on Wednesday in a Div. III sectional opener. (Photo by Justin Golba)

COLUMBIANA–The sixth-seeded Crestview Rebels used an inspired defensive effort on Wednesday night to defeat the No. 17 seed Waterloo Vikings 41-27 to advance to a sectional final against No. 8 seed LaBrae on Saturday.

Crestview closed the game on a 15-4 run to pull away from Waterloo in the final quarter. Crestview moves to 14-9 and Waterloo falls to 8-11.

“Our girls did a good job and first of all, we played really hard,” Crestview coach Aaron Blatch said. “Secondly, we did a good job of knowing where their shooters were and who we had to guard.

“Offensively, we struggled,” Blatch added. “I give Waterloo a lot of credit. They played really tough. They took us out of a rythym.”

Crestview held a 20-9 lead at the half and while Waterloo was able to get back in the game, Crestview led the entirety of the second half.

“We saw in a few other games they hit some big three-pointers, so we wanted to shut their shooters down and focus on getting out on them so they couldn’t make those and go from there,” Crestview’s Krista Perry said.

Perry led the Rebels with a game-high 13 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Ashton Hughes had seven points and Mara Halas added six points and three steals. Rose Couts led the way for Waterloo with nine points.

“Crestview is a good team and I was really pleased with what we did defensively,” Waterloo coach said Kevin Longanecker. “We make free throws and make layups and it is a different complexion down the stretch and that gap doesn’t exist. We just didn’t do that.

“We did what we wanted to do defensively and got the looks we wanted to get,” Longanecker added. “We had a lot of shots in the paint that we didn’t hit.”

Crestview struggled at times on offense, but were able to use their experience and poise to stay focused and pull away in the fourth quarter.

“It is definitely a good thing that we have some experienced players because sometimes younger players let it get in their heads, like I did when I was younger, so it is nice to have the older girls push the younger ones to be better,” Perry said.

“In the tournament the games can get physical and it was physical both ways and the officials let us play which is good,” Blatch said. “I thought we took a little bit to adjust to that. They were up in us with their traps and we had a couple weak turnovers and then I thought we settled in. In a tournament game we aren’t going to overanalyze this. We got a win over a good, well coached team and we are going to move on.”

Emily Downey and McKenna Schultz provided valuable minutes for the Rebels off the bench. Downey came in and knocked down a big three-pointer and recorded four rebounds in the second quarter.

“In five or six games, I don’t think she has turned it over and for a freshman in big games, that has been huge,” Blatch said about Downey. “For a freshman coming in there in her first tournament game, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

For Waterloo, it is about putting in the time necessary to compete in these games. Starting now.

“Play more basketball in the offseason and get comfortable in the offseason,” Longanecker said about ways to improve. “That is something that we have to do. We have to play more. We like to play with pace and I think that is to our advantage.”

Game notes

• The Rebels are 1-1 against LaBrae this season, losing 47-25 on January 9 and winning 36-32 on January 28.

“It’s going to be a good one and it is going to be another one that I don’t think anyone is hitting the 50’s,” Blatch said. “We know one another. I don’t think on either side there will be any surprises so it comes down to the constants. We gotta defend and we gotta rebound.”

• Waterloo will not play any more regular season games and its season is over.

• Fans going to the game use the same code they used at this game on Saturday for tickets.

WATERLOO: 5-4-8-10–27

CRESTVIEW: 2-18-5-16–41

WATERLOO SCORING: Rose Couts 2-5-9, Lilly Foster 0-0-0, Makayla Kachner 0-0-0, Abby Mazur 2-0-6, Kaira English 0-1-1, Hailey Waldeck 0-1-1, Brooke Waldeck 3-0-7, Olivia Johnston 0-0-0, Jewel Lilly 1-0-3. TEAM TOTALS: 8, 7-14: 27.

CRESTVIEW SCORING: Emily Hill 0-3-3, Mara Halas 1-3-6, Karsyn Moore 0-1-1, McKenna Schultz 2-0-4, Krista Perry 3-5-13, Payton Huff 2-0-4, Emily Downey 1-0-3, Trinity Miller 0-0-0, Ashton Hughes 3-0-7. TEAM TOTALS: 12, 12-22: 41.

Three-point goals: Waterloo 4 (Mazur 2, B. Waldeck, Lilly), Crestview 5 (Perry 2, Halas, Hughes, Downey).

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