On Tuesday night Toledo Christian made the trip south to Convoy to take on Crestview in a late schedule addition, pinning two of Northwest Ohio’s best seniors in Cole McWhinnie and Kalen Etzler, and two of Northwest Ohio’s best small school programs against each other. Toledo Christian jumped out early, and utilizing great team defense, and tremendous play from their senior backcourt, would defeat Crestview by a final score of 60-52. Here is who stood out:
2021 G Cole McWhinnie (Toledo Christian) – The Hillsdale recruit was phenomenal all night long, leading all scorers with a game-high 22 points. Displaying leadership in a plethora of ways, McWhinnie set the tone early for his team and delivered time and again. Known for his ability to shoot the basketball, he did so at a high clip on this night, with his quick, compact, and smooth stroke. He moves so well without the basketball, running his man off of screens for catch-and-shoot scenarios where he can be lethal. Handled the ball at a high level; was crafty and precise delivering the ball to teammates. Was stellar on the defensive end, guarding multiple positions, having active hands, and communicating with others. There is nothing not to like about his game at this point.
2021 F Kalen Etzler (Crestview) – Credit the Toledo Christian defense, they had Etzler blanketed all night long. The Ohio State signee only finished with 7 points, but converted on the handful of decent looks he got. A frustrating night for him, he continued to stay patient and poised, recognizing his teammates would have to carry the bulk of the scoring load. His length and athleticism was certainly a factor and evident in this game. Rebounded the basketball at a high level, really becoming a solid ball handler at his size. Didn’t get to show it as much as his team and he would have liked, but the three-tier scorer of the basketball showed just that when he had the chance on this night.
2021 G/F Trevor Wensink (Toledo Christian) – Has been a factor in the TAAC for years now, Wensink looks to be ascending on the list of the area’s top available prospects in his senior class. Dripping with confidence for much of this game, he played under control, picking his spots, and scoring it at a high level. More athletic than he probably gets credit for. Wasn’t afraid to take it to the rim against Crestview’s interior size, made plays for himself and others. Has a good basketball IQ, was an asset on the defensive side of the floor, showing the ability to guard multiple positions and rotate. An unsigned and available senior who is worthy of a serious look from small college programs in the area.
2023 PG Gavin Etzler (Crestview) – Has grown since last seeing him, starting to look more and more like a serious prospect to play at the next level. Did a nice job of taking care of the basketball, initiating the offense, and setting the table for his teammates. Plays with great intensity and competitiveness. Solid perimeter defender, doesn’t shy away from physicality. Shot it well from the outside with his feet set. Growing confidence, will have a bright future in the coming years.
2024 G Conye Gaston (Toledo Christian) – Started this highly competitive game as a freshman and looked more than comfortable in doing so. Spreads the floor with his ability to shoot it from the outside, hit some crucial three-pointers in key moments for his team. Was impressive with his composure, and just how solid he was on both ends of the floor. Didn’t do anything flashy, and didn’t need to. Rebounded the basketball well from his position, was strong with it, and was a big piece in their defensive efforts in this one. Going to have an eye on him and his development going forward.
2023 G Nathan Lichtle (Crestview) – Led Crestview’s scoring efforts in this game with 14 points. Brought some swagger and instant offense to his team when they really needed it. Shot it well from the outside and was solid around the rim. Doesn’t do anything to hurt you, just really solid as a young prospect. Plays hard, understands, plays within the flow of the game and finds ways to make an impact.