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Crestview ends skid by stopping Brookfield

NEW WATERFORD — The Crestview Rebels were looking to snap a three-game losing streak. The Brookfield Warriors wanted to keep their streak going.

The result was a low-scoring defensive battle with the Rebels knocking off the previously-unbeaten Warriors, 37-28, in a Mahoning Valley Athletic Conference Gray Division game. The victory improves the Rebels to 8-5 on the season, 2-3 in the MVAC-Gray. The Warriors fall to 5-1, 2-1 in the league.

“I like how we defended. I thought this was a very smart game by our team defensively,” Rebels coach Aaron Blatch remarked. “(Sophia) Hooks is a great player for Brookfield. She’s averaging 23 points per game and (Audrey) Reardon is really good. I thought we did a really nice job of knowing where they were.”

The combination of the Rebels senior forward Krista Perry and junior forward Trinity Miller caused the Warriors issues down low in the paint. Both Perry and Miller blocked multiple Warrior shots while Perry also scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Rebels.

“Kris has been a constant for us obviously, but Trinity Miller, this is her second varsity start. We thought that her length would be a factor tonight. Brookfield doesn’t have a ton of size, and it let us use Trinity to guard the rim, and Kris could roam around a little bit and make plays,” Blatch said. “Those two were key, and Trinity is the best shot-blocker that I have ever coached.”

“Trin has been great for us this year,” Perry said. “She is getting a lot of varsity time this year and she is really stepping up and I’m proud of her for that. Her being inside allows me to go outside a little bit, so that is opening up a lot more stuff for the whole team.”

“We play a bunch of guards and it was tough to match up with (Krista) Perry. A couple of those girls are so much bigger,” Warriors coach Ken Forsythe said. “It’s something that’s going to give us fits all year, but we just have to battle through it. We have to use our quickness, but we did not use it tonight.”

Neither team was able to get much traction following the opening tip-off as the Rebels scored the first basket over two minutes into the contest. They held an 8-4 lead at the close of the first period.

The Warriors closed to a 3-point deficit midway through the second quarter at 12-9, but the Rebels would increase their advantage by halftime. Addison Bandy sank two free throws with just 2.7 seconds remaining in the period to give the Rebels an 18-10 lead at the intermission.

It appeared both teams would open things up in the second half as they both converted a quick basket, but then the defense took over the game once again. The Rebels eventually doubled up the Warriors at 26-13 with only 38 seconds left in the frame when Emily Hill knocked down a jumper. That helped give the Rebels a 26-16 lead at the end of the third quarter.

The Rebels went on a 9-4 run to start the fourth stanza, propelling the Rebels to a game-high 15-point lead with 4:20 remaining, thanks to a 3-pointer from the Rebels’ Perry. The Warriors fought back with an 8-2 run to close the game, leading to the nine-point final margin.

“We have been struggling a bit,” Blatch said. “In my time here, this was the first three-game losing streak we’ve had. So we were kind of a ticked-off bunch, to be honest. To knock them (Brookfield) off, I think this is a huge win and hopefully, we can start a positive streak moving forward.”

“We are a young team, and we are going to have to prepare for everyone the same,” Forsythe said of his Warriors squad. “The last two games we have played sloppy and it’s kind of a learning curve for us tonight. Hopefully, we get back to work tomorrow and are ready to go.”

The Warriors will be back in action again Saturday when they travel to Liberty. The Rebels will also play Saturday when they host Warren Kennedy.

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