Crestview tripped by league rival Brookfield
BROOKFIELD — The old adage of beating the same team three times in a season reared its ugly head on Wednesday night in the Division III district semifinal between the Crestview Rebels and the Brookfield Warriors.
The Rebels had already gotten past the Warriors by scores of 37-28 and 44-35 earlier this season, counting for two of Brookfield’s three losses on the season.
Sophia Hook was the catalyst that worked against the Rebels this time, as she scored a game high 24 points, with 14 coming in the first half.
“I think she’s one of the best players in the area,” Brookfield coach Ken Forsythe said. She was Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore which is huge for her. She’s averaging 20 a game for us and she came to play tonight. She’s our point guard, she handles the ball. She’s our leading rebounder and our other girls fill their roles real well. As a team, they go as they go.”
Her play, along with the fast start helped Brookfield (17-3) hold off a resilient Crestview (15-9) team, 45-34.
“It all started in the first quarter,” Hook said. “We were really excited to play them. I think the only reason I scored that many is because my team helped get me open. We moved the ball fast and got good open shots. We had Anna (Reichart) back. She’s been hurt. They hadn’t seen her yet.”
The intensity from the get-go was evident as Brookfield opened up a 14-7 lead after one.
That lead grew to 10, 17-7, after a Hook 3-pointer at the 6:06 mark of the second quarter.
“Brookfield deserves a ton of credit,” Crestview coach Aaron Blatch said. “I thought they played extremely well. Sophia did a really great job. They did basically what we thought.
“We expected them to mix in some zone. They’re normally a man-to-man team. We thought they’d come out in some two-three as well.”
The Rebels were short-handed, missing the services of Addison Bandy and Trinity Miller. It showed in that first half as they shot 6-of-21 from the field as they trailed 23-16 at the half.
Mara Halas led Crestview with 14 points.
Crestview ratcheted up its defense to start the second half, holding the Warriors to just one field goal in the third quarter.
“We’ve been preaching it all year,” Forsythe said. “Our third quarter has been our worst quarter all year. We had to come out ready to go. We didn’t come out and we let them back in it for a bit.”
Krista Perry started to get going after being held to just two points in the first half. Her five straight points got Crestview to within 25-24 with less than two minutes left in the quarter.
“They’re a well-coached team,” Forsythe said. “Coach Blatch does a great job. Krista is one of the top players in the league. They came battling back. They weren’t going to give up easily.”
On the ensuing possession Hook was called for a charge with 45.2 seconds left.
With all the momentum working against them, the Warriors forced a Rebel turnover and saw Reichart’s bucket push the lead back out to 27-24 heading into the fourth quarter.
“When you work that hard to get back into the game, you cut it down to one and you can’t quite get over the hump, and they push it out again, that was a little bit deflating,” Blatch said. “We had some opportunities after that but we just couldn’t quite get them to go.”
Hook started off the fourth with a 3 that she turned into a four-point play to push the lead to seven.
After a Katie Logan bucket to make it 33-24, the Rebels responded with an 8-2 run to make it a one possession game again at 35-32.
The Warriors responded though, getting into the bonus and making 5-of-6 from the charity stripe, while holding Crestview to one field goal over the final 2:52.
“We got good looks,” Blatch said. “I’m really proud of our kids for cutting into that lead. We had it down to one and had a couple great looks at the basket but we couldn’t quite get them to fall. We missed a few when they went down and made a couple shots. I thought our kids played extremely hard.”