EAST PALESTINE - Crestview's boys basketball had been waiting a while to enjoy a victory over East Palestine.
That wait ended on Tuesday as the Rebels rebounded from an 11-point third quarter deficit to knock off the defending Inter-Tri County League upper tier champions, 50-43, to earn their first win over the Bulldogs since the 2004-05 season.
Inside-men Tom Oliver and C.J. Collins had 15 and 14 points respectively to lead the charge against a tough East Palestine zone defense which limited the Rebels to four points in the second quarter.
"It's a good feeling getting the win over them," Collins said. "We didn't like the way both games ended last year. It was our turn."
It's early in the season, but the Rebels (3-0, 2-0 in the ITCL upper tier) already share a part of the league lead with Springfield and Lisbon.
East Palestine (1-2, 1-1) played disciplined defense for much of the first half and severely limited Crestview's scoring opportunities - both inside and out.
That defensive plan came with a price, however.
Bulldog seniors Cody Stewart and Austen Reiser were both effective in countering Collins and Oliver when they were in the game, but foul trouble caught up with them around the midway point of the third quarter.
East Palestine coach Tom Bingham had to sit them on the bench for a spell and that's when the Rebels started to make their move back from a 30-19 deficit with 3:06 left in the third quarter.
"We have to work on our technique a bit," Bingham said. "This is the second game out of three that we were in foul trouble. We have to learn from this."
Crestview's defense heaped on a lot of pressure in the final part of the third quarter and forced six turnovers in the frame. The Rebels, who snatched the lead for good with less than six minutes to go in the game, would also force five turnovers in the fourth quarter.
"I think our depth was a factor," Crestview coach Herman Miller said. "We have a lot of good basketball players on this team and sometimes it's really difficult to get them playing time."
One player who made the most of his limited playing time was sophomore Robert Logan who scored all six of his points in the fourth quarter. Logan had led the Rebel jayvee team in scoring with nine points in the reserve team's 38-31 victory.
"He's going to be a good one," said Collins who had eight rebounds. "He works hard and has a very good attitude."
East Palestine was led by Reiser's 12 points and eight rebounds. Senior Jake DiCello added seven points, five rebounds and four assists. Stewart managed eight points in his limited time on the floor because of foul trouble.
Since the Bulldogs are the three-time defending ITCL upper tier champs, the Rebels think the victory was a significant one. They're cautious about getting ahead of themselves though.
"Most of the league can beat you on any given night," Miller said. "There's probably going to be quite a few of these sorts of games."
East Palestine's leading scorers in the jayvee game were Steve Parker with seven points and Alec Dumbald with six points.
Crestview hosts United on Friday. East Palestine is at Columbiana on Friday.
CRESTVIEW SCORING: Dillon Gorby 1-0-2, Nate Climo 0-3-3, Collin Gilbert 0-3-3, Adam Coppock 2-2-7, C.J. Collins 5-4-14, Tom Oliver 5-5-15, Austin Eskra 0-0-0, Robert Logan 3-0-6. TEAM TOTALS: 16-40, 17-28: 50.
EAST PALESTINE SCORING: Tyler Foster 1-2-5, Nate Keylor 1-2-4, Austen Reiser 2-6-12, Jake DiCello 2-3-7, Zak Brockman 3-1-7, Cody Stewart 3-2-8. TEAM TOTALS: 12-34, 16-24: 43.
Three-point goals: Crestview 1 (Coppock), East Palestine 3 (Reiser 2, Foster).