Published: Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Crestview continues strong start to the season
The Rebels are undefeated after five games after routing Mineral Ridge.
By DOUG CHAPIN
MINERAL RIDGE With four starters returning from a 21-2 season, the Crestview High girls basketball team has plenty of optimism for this season, the first for the expanded Inter-Tri County League. It's been so far, so good as the Rebels are off to a 5-0 start, including 2-0 in the ITCL large school tier, after Monday's 77-34 rout of Mineral Ridge.
"There is always room for improvement. Tonight we missed too many layups inside," Crestview coach Tanja Simione said. "But I like the way the bench players are working hard at getting better. We are going to need improved depth as the season goes along."
Crestview employs a ball-hawking pressure defense, using good athleticism to make it difficult for its opponents to get good looks at the basket. The Rebels also get their share of steals, including 17 on Monday while forcing five additional Ridge turnovers. The home team shot just 10-of-56 from the field.
Offensively, Crestview's most important statistic was 26 assists. The Rebels move the ball well and play an unselfish brand of basketball resulting in good looks at the basket. The Rebels shot 31-of-52 on Monday.
A fourth of the way through the season, Simione is mostly positive when assessing her team.
"I like our work ethic, the girls really hustle in practice and games. I like the way we read one another," Simione said. "We're playing with our heads up and we are communicating. What we need to work on is getting some other players in the scoring column."
Sophomore Chelsea Bowker makes the Rebels go. A very good all-around player, Bowker's superior court awareness clearly stands out. She recorded 22 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and four steals on the night. Senior Elyse Mongillo, who works very well with Bowker, led the scoring with 24 points and added nine assists and six steals. Chelsie McCall added 14 points, while Jess Reash contributed six points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals.
"She [Bowker] has stepped up considerably this year," Simione said about the sophomore who averaged about 14 points per game last season. "And she has room to step up even further.
"She and Mongillo have that rapport together and the whole team is starting to fit into that mold. We will face some teams that will apply some pressure to us and we have to get our other players ready to face that."
Mineral Ridge (2-3, 0-2) played close early against the Rebels, trailing just 19-15 after the first quarter. But Crestview turned up the defensive pressure a notch and scored the first 12 points of the second quarter. From there, the visitors led 39-19 at halftime and 65-25 after three periods.
Nicole Honsaker scored nine points and Heather Reinhart added eight for the Rams. Taylor Shiley grabbed nine rebounds and Sarah Garland contributed three assists and five steals.