COLUMBIANA - Springfield Local's basketball team thought back to the last time it was on Crestview's floor on Tuesday and it didn't want a repeat.
It was almost exactly a year ago and Crestview had snatched a two-point victory for its first win over the Tigers since 1975.
This time it was all Springfield.
Using 25 points and six rebounds from Ron Rogers, the Tigers used precise passing and a strong defense to knock off the Rebels, 57-29.
The win handed the Tigers (4-1, 4-0) the outright lead in the ITCL upper tier. Crestview (4-1, 3-1) fell one game back.
"This was a big game and we knew we needed to win it," Rogers said. "We didn't like the way the game ended last season on a last second shot."
The Rebels did show a little flair for the dramatic early in Tuesday's contest as Adam Coppock buried a three from well beyond the arc to end the first quarter and to give the Rebels an 11-9 lead.
Eight minutes and seven turnovers later, however, Crestview's shot at grabbing the league lead was out the door as the Tigers had a 27-13 lead at the break. The Rebels' only basket of the second quarter was a buzzer beater layup by Robert Logan.
"Collectively it was a lot of things that went wrong," Crestview coach Herman Miller said. "The offense was stagnant and there were too many turnovers. You can't score when you don't shoot. We also thought our pressure on defense would be adequate, but it wasn't."
In all, Crestview had 12 turnovers in the first half and 20 for the game. Springfield coach Eric Fender said its goal was to take Crestview's top guard out of his game.
"Their main guard is Adam Coppock and we felt if we could keep the ball out of his hands, we could dictate the tempo of the game," Fender said.
Coppock ended the game with just three points and four assists.
"I was surprised we held them to so few points in the second quarter and second half," Rogers said.
The closest Crestview got in the second half was 11 points early in the third quarter. Springfield's patient offensive approach and dominance on the offensive boards made the rest of the game a nightmare for the Rebels.
Jared McTigue had a strong effort on the boards with eight points and nine rebounds. Nick Russell had seven rebounds.
Collin Gilbert and C.J. Collins had eight points each to lead the Rebels. Collins had four rebounds.
Fender said he expects Crestview to play better the next time the two meet.
"They had an extended football season and I think they're still trying to get back into basketball mode," Fender said. "They'll be out for revenge next time."
The Tigers have a favorable league schedule ahead of the them in the short term as they have already beaten two of the potential favorites in South Range and Crestview. If current results hold, Springfield's next big test in the league will be at defending champion East Palestine on Jan. 13.
Miller thought that the Tigers showed the ability to make a run at the title through their play in the final three quarters. But he also stressed that his team did not play very well.
As for the football excuse, he wants no part of it.
"We've had five games," Miller said. "The mistakes we were making had nothing to do with that. It's not an excuse."
Crestview hosts Leetonia on Friday. Springfield is at Youngstown Christian on Thursdday.
Crestview won the jayvee game 53-50 in overtime. Greg Bable had 14 points for the winners. Brandon Chamberlain had 16 points for the Rebels.
SPRINGFIELD SCORING: Ron Rogers 7-8-25, Nick Russell 1-0-3, Tom Mastran 1-1-3, Joe Ohlin 4-1-9, Ryan Stacy 0-0-0, Eoghan Bees 4-0-9, Jared McTigue 4-0-8, Joe Johnson 0-0-0, Anthony Scandy 0-0-0, Joe Wrask 0-0-0, Alex Wharry 0-0-0. TEAM TOTALS: 15-51, 10-18: 57.
CRESTVIEW SCORING: Dillon Gorby 0-0-0, Nate Climo 1-0-2, Zach Thompson 0-0-0, Collin Gilbert 2-2-8, Adam Coppock 1-0-3, C.J. Collins 4-0-8, Tom Oliver 0-0-0, Austin Eskra 1-0-3, Robert Logan 2-1-5. TEAM TOTALS: 11-32, 3-4: 29.
Three-point goals: Springfield 5 (Rogers 3, Russell, Bees), Crestview 4 (Gilbert 2, Coppock, Eskra).