SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor
Basketball, wrestling, bowling and swimming – it’s all underway as part of the 2017-2018 winter sports season. Today we’ll focus on Van Wert and Lincolnview girls’ basketball, Crestview boys’ basketball and we’ll say thanks to area coaches and athletic directors.
Van Wert Lady Cougars looking to break out
It’s been a bit of a rough start for the Lady Cougars. Van Wert is 0-4, but it should be noted the losses have come to Ottoville, Coldwater, Delphos Jefferson and Defiance, four teams with a combined record of 16-3.
The schedule isn’t much easier this week: at Spencerville (4-0) tonight, the Western Buckeye League and home opener vs. Wapakoneta (2-1) on Thursday and Minster (5-0) at home on Saturday.
However, head coach Rob Adams remains optimistic.
“Certainly 0-4 is not where we want to be, but we are headed in the right direction,” Adams said. “We have the right blend of leadership and youth, and it’s just a matter of putting it together for four quarters.”
“We are starting to understand the team concept and growing with each other,” Adams continued. “There is so much more to the season than wins and losses. The wins will come once we understand the value in team work. If we want to crack a win, the girls will need to play four quarters and power through adversity.”
Lady Lancers doing some positive things
Despite Monday’s 49-41 loss to New Bremen, Lincolnview head coach Dan Williamson has noticed some positive things from his squad during the first four games of the season, including team chemistry.
“The girls play very well together and are constantly looking for open teammates,” Williamson said. “We are getting great shots from our offenses from the players we want shooting the most.”
Another positive has been defense. Lincolnview has held two opponents (Continental and Lima Central Catholic) to 26 and 19 points. The Lady Lancers also held powerful Ottoville to 47 points.
“We are only giving up about 30 points per game and have out-rebounded two of our three opponents and are forcing about 19 turnovers per game,” Williamson said.
As the team, the Lady Lancers are proficient shooting from the outside but Williamson knows the team will need to develop more of an inside presence.
“We need to continue to improve our shooting and ability to make shots in the paint,” Williamson explained. “We also need to try to develop more of a post game so we are not so reliant on our perimeter play.”
It’s a busy week for Lincolnview. The Lady Lancers hosted New Bremen last night and are scheduled to play at Elida tonight, followed by the Northwest Conference opener at Spencerville on Thursday.
Crestview Knights bounce back in a big way
Things were looking good for Crestview in the third quarter of Friday’s season opener against Van Wert. The Knights opened up a 33-24 lead, and appeared to be on a roll. However, the Cougars got hot and Crestview struggled from the floor during the remainder of the period and the fourth quarter and lost 48-44.
Crestview was able to shake off the loss the following night with a big 86-54 win over previously unbeaten Parkway (2-1). The Knights piled up 52 points in the first half alone, with Javin Etzler accounting for 24.
“I thought our tempo was good for us, as it got us in rhythm offensively,” Best said after the game.
While Best was pleased with his team’s offensive results, he’s looking forward to improved results on the boards.
“We gave up a ton of offensive rebounds,” Best explained. “I think a lot of that was because we were scrambling out of our press and not finding guys. You have to live with that a little bit, because you’re trying to get them out of rhythm. We did, but we didn’t secure rebounds like we wanted to.”
“I thought for the most part defensively we were okay,” Best added.
Coaches and athletic directors respond in a big way
One of our many new sports features is the Student Athlete of the Week. It began during the fall sports season and will continue until the end of spring sports.
Each week we ask area coaches and athletic directors to submit names of student athletes from all sports for consideration and thanks to coaches and athletic directors (and of course Northwest Ohio Welch Trophy), the feature has turned out to be a big success.
Coaches and athletic directors should continue sending weekly nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Nominations must be received by 12 p.m. each Tuesday. One name will be picked each week, and the winner will receive a T-shirt from Northwest Ohio Welch Trophy and will be featured each Friday at www.thevwindependent.com.