Knights open second half on 18-0 run
Convoy Crestview 71, St. Thomas Aquinas 44
Dominating! That is only word worthy of Convoy Crestview’s 2nd half performance.
The Convoy Crestview Knights were mission-oriented all year, and the goal was completed on Saturday afternoon in the Division IV state title game. Crestview was able to capture the school’s first-ever boys basketball gold along with completed an undefeated season (29-0).
Much like it did in its semifinal win over Tri-Village, the Crestview Knights owned the 3rd quarter. The Northwest Conference member, Crestview, led just, 26-23, at half, but out scored Aquinas, 20-3, in the deciding 3rd quarter.
Crestview’s pair of state tournament games had one major thing in common, which were great second half adjustments and huge runs to start the final 16 minutes. The Crestview Knights were in a dogfight with the St. Thomas Aquinas Knights for the entire 1st half, but an 18-0 run to start the final two quarters all but sealed the deal on Crestview’s undefeated season. The Knights held a commanding, 44-23, lead at that point.
Senior Tyson Bolenbaugh delivered eight points in the quarter, while talented sophomore guard Connor Lautzenheiser drained a pair of triples and senior Damian Helm added four counters.
The Knights jumped out to an early, 13-5, advantage thanks to play of Lautzenheiser, and Helm and Bolenbaugh. The three combined for 13 points in the 1st quarter helping Crestview to a, 15-9, lead into the 2nd quarter.
Aquinas clawed its way back into the game in the 2nd quarter behind five points from junior Anthony Moeglin, and buckets from four others. The Knights were jumping the passing lanes allowing them to score in transition. Those buckets were non-existent in the 2nd half.
Helm led Convoy Crestview with 20 points. Bolenbaugh chipped in 18 points and eight rebounds, and Lautzenheiser and senior Preston Zaleski totaled 11 and 10 points respectively. Lautzenheiser notched six assists and Zaleski tallied five boards. Senior catalyst Cam Etzler finished with five points, four assists, and three steals.
Aquinas received 10 points from Moeglin, nine by Sam Pusateri, and senior Austin Hill, the team’s leading scorer, ended with six points. Hill added six points.
Crestview, who had a previous best finish as runner-up in 2003, held an edge on the boards (28-21). Convoy committed 19 turnovers compared to 22 for Aquinas.
Stat of the Game
Convoy Crestview shot 59.5 percent from the field, which included a nearly 70 percent showing the 2nd half.
Player of the Game
Damian Helm totaled 20 points, but it was his defense on Austin Hill that was just important. Helm limited Hill to just six points on a like amount of shots. Helm used his versatility in length to really bother Hill.
Convoy Crestview is a great team. The Knights rank among the best DIV teams we’ve ever covered. A true team in every sense of the word.
Photos by Gary Housteau (JJHuddle.com/Bucknuts.com)