Lisbon trio rolls Crestview as Gates hits milestone


By Greg Gulas

sports@vindy.com

COLUMBIANA

Mackenzie Mason, Karlee Pezzano and Autumn Oehlstrom combined to score 40 of Lisbon’s 71 points while a relentless Blue Devils defense forced 32 Crestview turnovers as the Blue Devils defeated the Rebels, 71-41 on Monday.

Despite the loss, Crestview’s Alexis Gates became just the eighth player in program history to reach the 1,000-point plateau, notching the record-setting point with a free throw in the third period,

She finished with a game-high 18 points.

With the win, Lisbon remained undefeated (8-0) and improved to 5-0 on the road while the Rebels (3-5) — down two players due to injuries with two more sent to the sidelines during the game — suffered their second consecutive setback and their fourth loss in the last five outings after a 2-1 start.

Mason, who scored 14 points, said her team enjoys applying pressure when they aren’t in possession of the ball.

“We enjoy playing pressure defense as we want to score early and get the lead,”Mason said. “We’ve really improved with our press since the season started and are doing a much better job now of rotating. It’s fun to play Crestview because it’s always an aggressive game.”

Gates and Sydni Bowker each scored four points to stake the Rebels to the early 8-4 advantage barely three minutes into the contest.

Four points by Pezzano and two more by Oehlstrom then keyed a 10-0 Lisbon run as they forged a 14-8 advantage and never looked back.

The Blue Devils’ defense would force nine Crestview turnovers in the opening frame with Pezzano netting eight of her 13 points in the period as they built a 23-16 lead heading to the second quarter.

“I’ve got a lot of kids who can play and there’s a good senior group mixed in with our younger players. It’s more exciting when it’s a full court game,” Blue Devils coach Jamie Entrikin added. “We’re finally rotating a bit quicker and seeing things sooner. When we run our sets, we’re also running them better and it wasn’t like that earlier in the season.”

A triple by Hope Halas at the outset of the second quarter cut the Lisbon lead to 23-19, but a 15-0 run by five combined players helped the Blue Devils increase their lead to 38-19 before settling for a 40-24 halftime margin.

Lisbon maintained the momentum that they built in the first half, reeling off 17 of the first 19 points in the third quarter for a 57-26 lead.

Gates, who entered the game needing 14 points to reach the 1,000 point plateau, got her point 3:29 of the third period when she canned the second of two charity tosses.

“When I was a ball girl I watched both Chelsea Bowker and Ashley Harrison get the 1,000th point of their careers. That has been a goal of mine ever since,” Gates said. “I was always in the gym with my dad so we bonded very early. To be able to share this moment with him tonight is very, very special. We both absolutely love the game.”

Rebels head coach Rick Gates said it has been a great experience coaching his daughter.

“Alexis has been involved with basketball from the very beginning and she has brought a great work ethic to our team,” Rick Gates said. “She lifts weights, works on her shooting and if there’s an open gym, she’s the first one there and the last to leave. It’s a mixed bag of emotions when you coach your daughter and you try to separate that, but it has been a great overall experience for both of us.”

Four points by Crestview’s Emily Ferris would then help the Rebels close the game with an 11-10 advantage.

Oehlstrom finished with 13 points for Lisbon while Ferris added nine points for the Rebels.

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