GREENFORD - It's not often that a basketball team blows a 17-point lead and then regains a similar margin lead later in the contest.
Crestview's girls basketball team did just that in Thursday's 58-44 victory over Jackson-Milton in a Division IV sectional final at South Range High School.
The Rebels (16-6) raced out to a 22-5 lead. The Bluejays (15-7) countered with a 19-2 run to tie the game at 24 with 1:34 left in the first half. The Rebels would shake it off and slowly build the lead back until it reached 52-34 with 4:54 left to play in the game.
"We were really positive in the first quarter and into the second quarter," Crestview coach Rick Gates said. "We executed like we wanted to and defensively we thought we were in the right places. Then for like the first four or five minutes of that second quarter it was like we just quit playing hard and didn't do the right things on offense."
Crestview shot 5 for 20 from the field in the second quarter slump. Most of the Rebels 11 points in that frame came in the last two minutes.
"I give them some credit though," Gates said. "They made some adjustments in between the first and second quarters which helped them score."
In Crestview's 20-5 first quarter surge, Ashley Harrison tallied 12 of her game-high 21 points. She also added six steals and four assists on the night.
Kate Santor led the Bluejay charge with eight of her 18 points coming in the second quarter.
"We were making the baskets during that comeback, but then we couldn't get the ball to fall again after that," Jackson-Milton coach Pat Keney said.
Jackson-Milton was seven of eight from the field in the 22-point second quarter. The Jays were 4 for 29 the rest of the way.
Gerie Sickle sparked the Rebels in the third quarter by tallying 10 of career-high 12 points. She did this despite being in some foul trouble.
"I was just trying to help my team out," Sickle said.
She said she thought the team lapsed in the second quarter due to being "tired" and because of having an easy time of it against Leetonia in the tournament opener on Saturday.
"I was mad at halftime because I had three fouls in the second quarter," Sickle said. "I wanted to make up for it by scoring more."
The Rebels led 49-33 by the end of the third quarter and cruised the rest of the way.
Now the Rebels will deal with Western Reserve whom it defeated 70-51 in a regular season encounter.
"We battled them during the regular season game." Gates said. "We ended up beating them by a decent amount, but most of that came on free throws at the end."
Reserve's other two losses on the season were to top-seeded Lowellville.
"They have been consistent all year with 19 wins," Gates said. "They've been overlooked in the lower tier because of Lowellville, but 19 wins is still very impressive. We have to respect that and focus on them for the next few days."
- The majority of Jackson-Milton's players played on the Div. IV district championship volleyball team.
- Annie Hardenbrook and Marissa Leon had eight rebounds each for the Rebels.
- For the second straight tournament game, all Rebel players played.
JACKSON-MILTON: 5 22 6 11 - 44
CRESTVIEW: 20 11 18 9 - 58
JACKSON-MILTON SCORING: Rebecca Jones 0-1-1, Zaina Sahli 2-2-6, Beth Ritchey 0-0-0, Erica Hughes 2-0-5, Brittany Schnellbach 0-0-0, Paije Kiraly 2-0-4, Kate Santor 3-10-18, Maggie Oblinger 2-4-8, Madison Tomaino 1-0-2. TEAM TOTALS: 12-53, 17-30: 44.
CRESTVIEW SCORING: Ashley Harrison 8-5-21, Morgan Newbauer 1-0-2, Alexis DeMaria 1-0-3, Gerie Sickle 4-4-12, Annie Hardenbrook 4-0-8, Tristan Huff 0-0-0, Marissa Leon 1-0-2, Alexis Marnejon 2-0-4, Alexys Brooks 1-0-2, Taylor Chamberlain 2-0-4. TEAM TOTALS: 24-57, 9-17: 58.
THREE POINTERS: Jackson-Milton 3 (Santor, Hughes), Crestview 1 (DeMaria).