BOWLING GREEN — Maumee Valley Country Day’s run through the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division IV playoffs came to an unceremonious end Tuesday at the Stroh Center.
Playing in their first regional since 2012, the Hawks trailed for the duration of the second half and fell 61-45 to Convoy Crestview in the round of 16.
Crestview (27-4) advanced to the regional final, where it will play Pandora-Gilboa on Friday.
PHOTO GALLERY: MVCD falls to Crestview
The Hawks missed 6-foot-6 post player Jaiden Woodley from the moment he went down with a season-ending knee injury, but never more so than Tuesday. Crestview controlled the paint, outrebounding Maumee Valley 41-25.
“Obviously Jaiden’s a great kid and a double-double, did a lot of great things for us, but I’m not one to make excuses,” Maumee Valley coach Rob Conover said. “I feel we were more than capable of pulling this one off. We were capable of playing Friday, we just didn’t get it done.”
Derek Stout of Crestview led all scorers with 20 points. Drew Kline scored 13 and Wade Sheets added 10 for Crestview.
Zeb Jackson led Maumee Valley with 16 points, while Steve Coleman chipped in 11. Jackson finished 6-for-20 from the field and 0-for-9 from 3.
Crestview coach Jeremy Best said his staff watched video of Jackson and saw a number of Hawks opponents playing various zones with a defender held out to guard Jackson. Crestview opted against that strategy, and the gamble paid dividends.
“We just didn’t think that was who we are. We haven’t done that all year,” Best said. “We just thought we had to have good pressure, smart pressure on the ball, great gap help and integrity so [Jackson] couldn’t turn corners, and force him into being a jump shooter. Tonight, it happened to work for us.”
With the Hawks (21-6) leading 15-13 midway through the second quarter, Crestview finished the half on a 10-2 run that gave them a 23-17 lead.
In the third, Maumee Valley cut its deficit to two, but Stout and Jace Vining made a 3-pointer each that pushed Crestview’s lead to eight minutes later.
Again, the Hawks trimmed the margin to three, but Crestview ended the quarter on a 7-1 spurt to take a 39-30 lead into the final quarter.
Maumee Valley never found its bearings offensively and shot 31 percent from the floor (16-for-52) in the game.
“They were hedging, so we worked a lot this week on attacking that hedge and using it to our advantage,” Conover said. “We just got really stagnant off the ball. We didn’t move off the ball side-to-side like we had the past couple games, and that’s what really hurt us the most.”
The game officially spiraled away from Maumee Valley early in the fourth. Stout began the period with a layup, and after a Jackson made one of two free throws, Sheets made a jump shot, which Derick Dealey followed with a triple from the corner than gave the Knights a 15-point edge.
The Hawks came no closer than seven points away from the rest of the game, and Crestview made 11 of 16 free throws to stave off their comeback attempt, thus ending the season for Maumee Valley.
“This is not on our players,” Conover said. “Our kids are great kids. They earned the right to be where they were at and earned the right to go play Friday, but we just didn’t get it done tonight.”
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