On Wednesday night, the Sectional semifinals for the Division IV – Elida District took place at the Sommer Center on the campus of Bluffton University. The first game of the night resulted in Crestview defeating Leipsic by a final score of 64-55, advancing to play Delphos St. John’s on Friday night. Here is who stood out:
2021 F Kalen Etzler (Crestview) – The Ohio State commit put together a high-quality outing, showing why he has loads of potential, and is the best prospect in all of Northwest Ohio. Etzler impressed with his ability to make plays at his size (6’8″) off the dribble, with the ball in his hands. He was able to get to the rim at-will, finding teammates, and picking his spots. Has a soft and smooth stroke from the perimeter where he is a consistent scoring threat. Held it down in the paint on the defensive end, altering shots, cleaning the glass, and disrupting offensive sets with his length and activity. Clean and efficient night from him, as he finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 assists in the win.
2022 G Mason Brandt (Leipsic) – Aside from Etzler, Brandt had the best night of anyone in the pair of games at Bluffton. Delivered big shots and made plays time and again when his team really needed them. Brought a toughness, and contagious fight to the floor. Shot it really well from the outside, finished around the rim, and proved he can get his in the mid-range as well. Isn’t afraid to get down defensively, and will scrap for rebounds and loose balls. High understanding of what’s going on out on the court. Was relied on heavily, and the sophomore delivered, finishing with 20 points.
2023 PG Gavin Etzler (Crestview) – Still very young, and shows his youth throughout the course of the game, but the potential is clearly there, and the experience as a Varsity starter as a freshman will serve him well. Handled the ball well for the most part, while facing a great deal of defensive pressure. Was patient setting up sets, and understands spacing. Can shoot the three ball with great consistency with a quick release and compact stroke. Needs to continue to grow both physically and in his play, but the future is certainly bright.
2021 F Carson Kreischer (Crestview) – Was a bully in the paint, scoring through contact and finishing at a high clip around the rim in a physical game. Competes at a high-level, runs the floor well, and rebounds his area. Not shy from contact on the defensive end, where his size and strength are a great asset. Won’t ‘wow’ you, but very, very solid.
In the second game of the night Ada led from start to finish in a defeat of Fort Jennings by a score of 62-55, advancing to play Columbus Grove on Friday night. Here is who stood out:
2021 PG Brandon Hull (Ada) – Hull was impressive in his ability to score it and distribute the basketball to teammates. Delivered assists in a multitude of ways, putting zip on the basketball, and passing open teammates. Compact in size, but can get low and find his way in the paint to put pressure on the defense. Efficient scoring the ball at the rim, capable scorer from the outside. Solid defensively, where he likes to gamble and create turnovers. Finished with 21 points and 7 assists on the night.
2022 G Nick Trentman (Fort Jennings) – Was one of the constant bright spots for his team, and delivered when they needed him most. Puts pressure on the defense with his scoring ability and his fearless play. Can shoot the three with consistency, and is capable in the mid-range. Moves the basketball, picks his spots, and provides consistency. Was active on defense, leaving it all on the floor.
2020 G Phil Coulson (Ada) – Scrappy, hard-nosed, plays with an edge. Impressed with his ability to put the ball in the basket from all over the floor and doing so in a variety of ways. Runs hard off of screens to get open. Brings energy on defense, takes things personal. Skilled, solid, and was a major key in his team’s victory on this night. Finished with 18 points.