Defense drives surging Crestview over Rockets
LOWELLVILLE — Defense is the biggest key to victory, and that’s how it has been for Crestview as of late.
Following a heartbreaking one-point loss to United a short while back, the Rebels have fired off a three-game winning streak.
Their latest success was a 47-17 rout at Lowellville, a contest where Crestview held the host Rockets to just six field goals in the 30-point win and forced plenty of Lowellville turnovers.
“Give Lowellville a lot of credit, they’re really tough to play against,” Rebels coach Aaron Blatch said. “They’re tough to play against in the half court. They give some different looks.
“We were hoping to get out and run a little bit more than what we did, and we had some opportunities. Sometimes we converted, didn’t make great decisions in transition, but I do like how we defended.”
Leading 9-6 early in the second quarter, Crestview went on a 10-0 run, which was capped off by a layup on the left side from senior Payton Huff to make it a 19-6 game.
The Rockets broke the run in the final seconds of the half off a jumper by sophomore Lily Vori-Coppola, and then the forward scored on a layup for the first points of the second half. Junior guard Sammie Moore helped bring it to within single digits at 22-13 after splitting a pair of free throws, but that’s as close as Lowellville got to taking any kind of lead.
Crestview (5-2) outscored the Rockets 21-4 in the fourth quarter, thanks in large part to a 13-0 run that spanned the end of the third and into the fourth quarter. A major contributor to the Rebels’ success on the offensive end of the floor was senior Krista Perry, as the power forward led her team with 12 points.
Holding a team to 17 is always a good feeling for Perry and the Rebels.
“We really worked on stealing, and anticipating each pass, so that really helped us get a lot of steals,” she said. “I guess I got to give it to my teammates, we moved the ball really well with all their assists and stuff. We just work well as a team getting those open shots.”
The aforementioned loss at United has triggered a run where Crestview has defeated their opposition by an average of 34 points over their last the wins.
“We kinda didn’t play our best game (at United),” Perry said. “We kinda gave up a tough one. It was very close the whole game, and then at the end they got us in overtime.
“I think it’s nice for the game Wednesday because sometimes after a loss, it’s hard to come back from that, so it was good that we got that win (tonight) and we’ll have our confidence.”
Crestview junior Trinity Miller recorded 10 points, and seniors Addison Bandy and Huff addedeight. The Rebels are slated to travel to East Liverpool on Wednesday in a non-conference matchup against the Potters.
Meanwhile, Lowellville falls to 3-3, but Rockets coach Lisa Modelski felt the effort was there.
“I thought our girls came out and executed what we wanted to do defensively,” she said. “(In the) fourth quarter I think they got on a little run, and took us out of it, but overall I thought we played a good three and a half quarters of defense.
“I knew size-wise we weren’t going to match up, and we wanted to contain Perry, and I thought we did that. She had five of her 12 in the fourth quarter, so I thought we did a really good job, but we’re young, we got to get some more experience. We got to take care of the basketball, I think that was the difference, plus not making shots, so I was pleased with our girls tonight, I really was.”
Coppola paced the Rockets with seven, and Moore added four. Lowellville will be back in action next Monday against Western Reserve.