LISBON - Crestview senior Evan Nentwick wished he would have done it sooner.
Nentwick hit four three-pointers for a career-high 18 points to spark the Red Team to a 65-54 win in the 28th annual Columbiana County Classic on Tuesday night.
"That's my high for my career," he said. "It felt good and it was a good atmosphere here."
Nentwick scored 10 points during a 16-2 run in the second half to put the Red Team on its way as he was named the Most Valuable Player.
"I got my looks," he said. "After I hit the second one, I knew it was going to be my night."
He hadn't scored in double figures all season - hitting three three-pointers and 95 total points during the Rebels' 14-9 season.
RED TEAM SCORING: Brandon Fetty (Beaver) 3-1-7, Troy Hudson (Beaver) 4-0-8, Zack Mick (Beaver) 2-0-4, Brandon Crawford (Heartland) 0-0-0, Kyle Burgess (Heartland) 2-0-4, Derek Bable (Crestview) 6-2-14, Austin Eskra (Crestview) 1-0-3, Evan Nentwick (Crestview) 7-0-18, Ian Sevenich (Leetonia) 0-0-0, Cody Valentine (Leetonia) 2-3-7. TOTALS: 27-71, 6-14: 65.
BLUE TEAM SCORING: Jake DeJong (Columbiana) 2-0-5, Derek Thompson (East Liverpool) 5-1-11, Zach Enonomous (Salem) 3-0-9, Brendan Webb (Salem) 1-0-3, Luke Griffith (Southern) 4-0-11, Kyler Woodward (Southern) 4-0-8, Kyle Bryan (Columbiana) 1-2-4, Nate Keylor (East Palestine) 0-0-0, Corey Brammer (Lisbon) 1-0-3, J.J. Napierkowski (Southern) 0-0-0. TOTALS: 21-72, 3-6: 54.
Three-pointers: Red 5 (Nentwick 4, Eskra), Blue 9 (Enonomous 3, Griffith 3, DeJong, Webb, Brammer).
"I didn't even know who he was," said East Liverpool's Derek Thompson, the Blue Team's MVP.
Now everyone does.
Nentwick scored his team's last five points of the first half to give the Red a 29-25 advantage. After three-pointers by Salem's Zach Economous and Brendan Webb put the Blue up 33-31 early in the second half, Nentwick took over.
He had two three-pointers and two more baskets in a 3 1/2-minute span that lifted the Red to a 47-35 lead it would not relinquish.
"I think everyone was trying not to say too much and jinx me," Nentwick said.
The lead got as high as 16 points as Nentwick hit a three-pointer and Leetonia's Cody Valentine and Crestview's Derek Bable had layups to make it 57-41 with four minutes to play.
"It's up there," Nentwick said about his career highlights. "I still have another game left (at the ITCL game in East Palestine on Thursday)."
Bable added 14 points - just one off his high - and Beaver Local's Troy Hudson had eight to the winning effort.
Thompson and Southern Local's Luke Griffith led the Blue with 11 points apiece. Economous contributed nine points and Southern Local's Kyler Woodward eight.
"My coach (Nate Conley) tweeted last night that I was going to be the MVP," Thompson said. "I didn't give it a second thought."
Not until he hit the boards Tuesday, also collecting double figures in rebounds.
"I just wanted to come in and have fun, not be too much of a ball hog," Thompson said. "I wanted to represent my teammates, school, coaches and family."
It was a good ending for his basketball career.
"I'll remember this until the end," Thompson said. "Being the MVP doesn't mean you are better than anyone else. It just means you worked hard."
Nentwick is the sixth Crestview boy to be named MVP and the first since Scott Hoff in 2000.
Crestview's Nentwick, Bable and Austin Eskra combined for 35 of the Red's 65 points.
Last year's winning team scored more points in the second half (66) than Tuesday's winner did in the game (65).
Salem's Ryan Bush, East Palestine's Austen Reiser and Columbiana's Khylea Fullum have been selected to play in the North-South All-Star Basketball Game at Capital University on April 21.