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Girls Basketball: Crestview tops Delphos Jefferson to even NWC race

Jan. 26—DELPHOS — The race for the NWC crown is officially a crowded one.

On Thursday night, Crestview made sure they stayed in contention with a 52-41 statement win over Delphos Jefferson in a matchup that featured the league's co-players of the year from last season.

In the final matchup of their storied careers, Cali Gregory out-scored Lyv Lindeman 19-15, but most importantly, Crestview handed Jefferson their first league loss since the 2020-21 season.

"They're just good competitors. That's why they were co-NWC players of the year," said Crestview coach Mark Gregory. "They've been going at each other since they were in fifth grade. Back when they played at the YMCA we knew that it'd be a battle between them for a long time. I'm honestly sad to see them play against each other for the last time."

Crestview improves to 15-2 on the year and 5-1 in the NWC. Delphos Jefferson falls to 14-2 and 4-1 in conference play.

There are now four teams with one loss in the league standings, a group that includes Crestview, Jefferson, Lincolnview, and Columbus Grove.

"Our backs were against the wall; just like Allen East had their backs against the wall when we played them at our place," Gregory said. "I think that's kind of how it was tonight. I told the girls that this was the situation we were in and I asked them how we were going to respond. I thought our response was a good one."

The only point in the game where Crestview wasn't in control came early in the first quarter. At the 6:08 mark, Cali Gregory picked up her second foul and subbed out.

Jefferson responded by putting the Knights into an 11-1 hole, forcing Gregory to re-enter the game in the midst of foul trouble.

"We took advantage of it (foul trouble), but Cali didn't stay out long," Delphos Jefferson coach Denise Lindeman said. Earlier in the game our shots fell. Our girls gave everything they had tonight. I thought their effort was phenomenal.

"They're a great team. Cali Gregory is awesome, then you add in Myia Etzler and they're very difficult to stop."

Crestview trailed 14-10 at the end of the first but took a 24-23 lead into the break on a late layup from Kaci Gregory.

Using a high-low attack with Gregory and Etzler that Jefferson had no answer for, Crestview won the third quarter 20-12 to go up 44-35. Their lead grew as high as 15 points in the fourth quarter.

Crestview doubled up Jefferson in rebounding 32-16 and their 2-3 zone made life incredibly difficult on Lyv Lindeman who shot 3-of-12 in the first half and 5-of-21 in the game.

"It's hard to keep a player of her caliber down, but we put in an entire team effort there," Gregory said. "Most of the time we also held them to one shot which is something that I was really concerned about in a zone defense. We always want to out-rebound our opponent, especially tonight because Jefferson is great at getting to those loose balls."

Cali Gregory paired her 19 points with 11 boards. Myia Etzler also recorded a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds.

Overall Crestview shot 42 percent from the floor (19/45) compared to 24 percent from Jefferson (12/50).

Score by quarters

Crestview 10 14 20 8 — 52

Delphos Jefferson 14 9 12 6 — 41

Crestview

Cali Gregory 19, Myia Etzler 16, Kaci Gregory 12, Ellie Kline 2, Josie Kulwicki 2, Haley McCoy 1, Total 19-10-51.

Delphos Jefferson

Lyv Lindeman 15, Madison Burris 9, Emma Kunz 7, Kyrstin Moore 6, Lauren French 4, Total 14-5-41.

3-pointers — CV: Kaci Gregory 1, Cali Gregory 1; DJ: Burris 3, Lindeman 2, Moore 2, Kunz 1,

Records — Delphos Jefferson 14-2, 4-1 NWC; Crestview 15-2, 5-1 NWC.

Reach Chris Howell at 567-242-0468 or on Twitter at @Lima_Howell