St. John’s Richard Cocuzza (11) shoots over Crestview’s Jace Vining during Friday night’s boys basketball game at Etzler Gym. (DHI Media/John Parent)
St. John’s Richard Cocuzza (11) shoots over Crestview’s Jace Vining during Friday night’s boys basketball game at Etzler Gym. (DHI Media/John Parent)

CONVOY — Crestview senior center Derek Stout had his most productive game of the season, posting 16 points and 9 rebounds as his Knights held off Delphos St. John’s for a 52-47 win at Ray Etzler Gymnasium on Friday night.

Stout was aggressive in the low post, resulting in an offensive foul called against him in the first half. Before halftime, however, he had connected on 4 of 4 free throw attempts.

He finished the game with 10 makes from the stripe, providing the bulk of his offensive output. Five of his game-high 9 boards came on the offensive end.

The game was back and forth for the first eight minutes, with junior standout Javin Etzler leading the Knights’ attack with a pair of made 3-pointers in the opening quarter. The Blue Jays countered with a free throw and a layup from senior point guard Collin Will before Connor Hulihan connected on a 3-pointer of his own for a 6-6 scoreboard.

Richard Cocuzza gave the Jays an 11-10 edge late in the period before Stout put his team up 12-11 at the end of the quarter with a pair of free throws.

Crestview took control of the game early in the second quarter, scoring the first seven points of the period on a baseline jumper from sophomore Jace Vining, another trey from Etzler, and a bucket in the post from Stout. After Will broke the spurt with a basket inside for the Jays, Vining connected from long range to give the Knights a 22-13 margin.

Buckets by Brady Parish and Jared Wurst finished the half for the Jays, on either side of a Wade Sheets layup, and the Knights led 24-17 at the break.

The Knights, thanks to four points from Stout, pushed their lead back to nine twice early in the second half, but a Wurst trey started a 9-1 Delphos run, which was capped by another Wurst triple. That spurt trimmed the lead to 29-28, Crestview, but the Knights countered with back-to-back buckets by Drew Kline and Brett Schumm gave Crestview a momentary bit of breathing room. It didn’t last long. A hoop from Lucas Metcalfe and a trey from Will knotted the game at 33-33. Crestview ended the period with four straight makes from the foul line and held a skinny 4-point lead heading to the final period.

Vining and Wurst traded threes early in the finale, keeping the game close, but the Knights again gave themselves some room at the stripe, where Stout and Kline each connected on a pair of free throws. The Jays later pulled to within two at 44-42, but buckets by Etzler and Stout offset a Hulihan triple and essentially put the game out of reach for the Jays.

The Knights held just a 2-rebound edge at the end of the first half, but outboarded the Jays by a wide margin after the break and 28-19 for the game. Crestview shot only 41 percent to St. John’s 46 percent, but the Jays were only 4 of 11 at the free throw line while Crestview made 16 of 23 (70 percent), more than accounting for the final margin of victory.

Wurst led the Jays with 15 points. Hulihan grabbed 5 rebounds to lead the team while scoring 9 points. Will and Cocuzza had 8 points each.

Etzler finished with 12 points for the Knights to go with 7 rebounds. Sheets led the team with 4 assists to go with his 7 boards. Vining had 8 points off the Crestview bench.

The Blue Jays won the JV game 39-29.

Crestview hosts Delphos Jefferson next Friday while St. John’s is off until a home date against Minster that same evening.