NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The weather is warming up, and so are the Crestview Rebels and their shooting. The eighth-seeded Rebels connected on ten shots from behind the arc Wednesday night as they rolled past the seventh-seeded Springfield Tigers 67-40 in girls Division III tournament play.
With the victory, the Rebels improve to 12-11 on the season and will face the second-seeded Ursuline Irish Saturday afternoon. The Tigers close the season with a 12-11 record.
“I’m proud of our group,” Rebels coach Rick Gates remarked. “They have just battled back. Early in the season, we had some injuries. It definitely was a struggle record wise early. We have bounced back to 12 and 11 where we are very respectable now.”
After splitting the two regular season meetings, it looked like this matchup was one that was going to be a nail bitter, but the Rebels left little doubt as to the outcome of this contest right from the tip-off. Senior guard Emily Ferris buried a three just seconds into the game, and they never trailed from there.
“We studied hard,” Gates explained. “We scouted, we prepared, but it’s just a credit to them for getting into the gym and still practicing hard. They have been going through all the shooting drills hard.”
“We prepared for a really close game and it was just happening for us,” Ferris said. “We prepared all week long, we really wanted it.”
Ferris was red hot as she buried three trey’s in the first period as the Rebels opened with an 11-4 run to start the contest. They would push their advantage to 9-points with 3:10 remaining in the first period when Tanner Moffer converted a layup to make 21-11. The Rebels held a 21-15 at the end of the period. The Rebels pushed the lead to ten with 3:04 left in the half when Alexis Gates connected on a jumper to make it 30-20, and held an 11-point, 35-24 lead at intermission.
Crestview and Springfield Girls Basketball: February 22, 2017
Crestview and Springfield Girls Basketball: February 22, 2017 x
“We were down by eleven at halftime and I think they hit seven three’s. Take away half of them and you have a two-point game,” Tigers coach Jim Schuler said of his team still being in the game.
Ferris would score a game-high 23 points, including six three-pointers to lead the Rebels. Alexis Gates knocked down 17, while Sydni Bowker added 13 and Tanner Moffer added 10. Moffer would haul down 6 rebounds while Gates and Bowker each had 5.
“Down the stretch of the season, Emily has had huge games. It brings so much more to our team because mid-season Alexis was drawing double and triple teams. Where now they have to respect our whole group,” Rick Gates explained.
“It’s just a mental thing,” Ferris admitted. “I thought it was going in on the first shot and it went in and it just flowed from there. It sparked my teammates and we could just put it in.”
But it was the third quarter that the Rebels really put the game away as they outscored the Tigers 19-4 during the period. Ferris would hit two three’s and convert a foul shot in the final 1:45 of the period as they held a 26-point, 54-28 lead at the end of the frame.
“We didn’t get the ball inside like we had practiced. In practice, it looked good and then when you get in a game situation and you don’t move the ball and people play it a little different you get tougher looks. They’re a good team,” Schuler said of the Rebels.
The Tigers would not get any closer than that 26-point deficit in the final quarter of the game as the Rebels continued to keep the Tigers at bay. The Rebels would hit a game-high margin of 29 points midway through the quarter before winning by the final 27-point difference.
“They were on fire,” Schuler remarked about the Rebels. “They had ten three’s, thirty points. They had three seniors with 53 points combined. You can’t win games when you give up that many.”
Marlie Applegarth would pace the Tigers in the scorebook as she scored 12 while Haley LaMorticella had 11. Makenzy Capouellez would haul down 4 rebounds to lead the Tigers on the boards.