Girls basketball: Leipsic collects NWC victory

CONVOY — An 8-0 run is not that big of a scoring output relatively speaking but that small run in the third period helped Leipsic down Crestview 44-36 in a Northwest Conference clash Thursday night.

With the win Leipsic improves to 3-0 and goes to 1-0 on in the conference. Crestview dips to 0-2 on the year and 0-1 in the NWC.

As the low score indicated it was a tight defensive struggle throughout the contest as the two teams found scoring points tough to come by and at halftime Leipsic owned a 16-13 advantage.

The trend continued into the third period as Leipsic staved off Crestview;s offense and with 4:53 left in the third stanza, the Vikings held a 24-21 lead with a little more than three minutes remaining in the quarter and that is when the game changing run developed.

It began with a big bucket from Leah Kirkendall and then was followed by trey from Ava Henry and a three-point play the old fashion way from Kirkendall to finish off the run. At the end of three quarters, it was Leipsic up 32-24.

Led by Cali Gregory, Crestview made a late charge at the Vikings but the Knights could not overcome the Vikings’ lead and the comeback fell short.

Even though they pulled away in the latter part of the third period, Leipsic head coach Gary Kreinbrink said it was coming out strong in the first three minutes that helped push the team to the win

“We executed some good stuff,” Kreinbrink said. “We talked at halftime of some of things we wanted to do with our possessions. We hit a three to start the second half on a set play and then got another basket that we set a back screen.”

Henry, who had two big 3-pointers in the third period, finished with a team-high 12 points Kirkendall and Marissa Hermiller each chipped in 10 points.Hermiller also grabbed eight rebounds.

For Crestview, Gregory was the lone Knight in double digits and she finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. All but two of Gregory’s points came in the fourth quarter as she was limited to two points in the first three periods. Senior Lacy McCoy finished the night with nine points and seven rebounds.

Even though this was the first NWC game of the year for both squads, Kreinbrink said it was a big win for the team in a number of ways.

“It was a big win for us and the first league game of the season and we knew we were going to have to come on the road and play well if we were going to beat this team and our volleyball players had an extra incentive tonight because they lost them twice this year which cost them an NWC title and then they lost to them in the district finals also.

“Super proud. We didn’t make it easy down the stretch but I mean that is to be expected from a team like Crestview. We tried everything we could on Gregory and McCoy and I thought we did a pretty good job tonight especially Ava Henry. She did a good job on Gregory for most of the night.”

Reach Jose Nogueras at 567-242-0468.