ELIDA – Wade Sheets gathered in the offensive rebound with just a few seconds left.
But with his right hand throbbing, Sheets knew he couldn’t shoot.
So he threw a frozen-rope pass to Javin Etzler at the top of the key.
Etzler sank a 3-pointer just before the final buzzer to lift Crestview to a heart-stopping 43-42 victory over Hicksville in the Division IV boys basketball district championship Friday at the Elida Fieldhouse.
“I looked up and there was three seconds left when I got it. It felt really good,’’ Etzler said.
Hicksville led 42-40 when Crestview called a timeout with the ball with 11 seconds left.
With five seconds to go, Crestview’s Drew Kline launched a 3-pointer from the left wing.
The ball rimmed out and Sheets rebounded near the right corner. He quickly fed Etzler at the top of the key.
“Somehow I got there first (for the rebound) … I found Javin and he’s a way better shooter than I am,” Sheets said. “And I hurt my (right) hand. I think I broke it so I wasn’t shooting it. I missed one when I tried to shoot with it and it was bad. I gave it to Javin.’’
Etzler never hesitated and drilled the 3-pointer.
A second later a huge explosion broke out on the Crestview cheering section.
“We didn’t have any timeouts and it was a scramble situation,” Crestview coach Jeremy Best said. “It was just amazing. … It was an unbelievable ending to a great high school basketball game.’’
Crestview advances to the regional semifinals against the Toledo Christian/Maumee Valley Country Day winner at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Bowling Green State.
Hicksville ends its season 20-6.
Etzler led the Knights with 14 points, three 3-pointers, and 11 rebounds.
Derek Stout had eight points and four rebounds.
Sheets had seven points, six rebounds. Kline had six points, four rebounds and three assists.
Payton Tunis had 12 points, while Michael Myers had 13 for Hicksville.
Crestview (22-3) has won 18 in a row. The Knights stood 4-3 on Dec. 27 before the team’s chemistry came together.
The first half went back-and-forth with 11 lead changes.
The game was tied at 21 at the half.
Hicksville ripped off a 14-2 run to end the third quarter and took a 38-26 lead after three.
Keying that run was Hicksville freshman Landon Turnbull, who sank three 3-pointers in a row over the Crestview 1-3-1 zone in the third quarter. He finished with nine points.
“We wanted to keep fighting,” Best said. “I thought we had energy, but I thought we couldn’t get in a flow and a lot of that was credit to Hicksville. And they shot it incredibly well in the third quarter.’’
Back came Crestview led by Drew Kline, who scored four points in the final quarter.
Etzler hit back-to-back 3-pointers to bring Crestview within 41-38 with 1:47 to go. That capped a 12-3 Knights run.
Derick Dealey’s driving layup got the Knights within 42-40 with 43 seconds left to set up the dramatic ending.
Crestview and Hicksville featured a standout point guard matchup between the Knights’ Kline and Hicksville’s Tunis, a first team all-district player.
Kline watched Tunis through the first half, as Tunis had seven points at the half. Crestview won the boards 31-24.
Crestview shot 38 percent from the field and was 3 of 17 on 3-pointers.
Hicksville shot 39 percent and was 8 of 18 on 3-pointers.
The Knights’ defense took hold in the fourth, as they battled back from being down 12 entering the fourth.
“We’ve come back in every tournament game,” Sheets said. “We knew what we had to do.’’
Added Etzler, “We had to sit down and guard. We had to get stops.’’
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.