By Sean LaFontaine

DHI Correspondent

CONVOY - The Crestview Lady Knights hosted the Allen East Lady Mustangs Thursday night in conference action. After a physical close game through three quarters, the Lady Knights used a big fourth quarter to come away with a 59-43 victory over Allen East.

The teams played an even first half. The Lady Knights looked like they were going to go into the locker room with a 21-19 lead, but Lindsi Woods found Morgan Truex on a back door cut just before the buzzer hit zero to tie the game at 21-21.

The Lady Knights started the second half on a 6-0 run thanks to three Mackenzie Riggenbach baskets. The run put Crestview up 27-21, but the Lady Mustangs fought right back.

With the score 30-25 in favor of Crestview, the Lady Mustangs got a basket by Kaycee Rowe to pull within three, and then a few possessions Carly Clum hit a three to tie the game again, this time at 30-30. Clum later gave Allen East the lead by hitting one of two free throws, making the score 31-30.

With just under 30 second left in the third quarter, Riggenbach hit one of her three three's on the night, giving Crestview a 33-31, which is where the third quarter ended.

The Lady Knights built a five point lead on a three by Terra Crowle, but the Lady Mustangs once again fought back.

Two Clum free throws narrowed the Crestview lead to three. After a Lindsey Motycka free throw, Clum made one free throw followed by a London Richardson three on the next possession, which tied the game at 41-41.

After the Richardson three, Crestview closed the game out on an 18-2 run. Kennis Mercer led the charge for the Lady Knights with six points during the run. Riggenbach added four points, while Crowle added another three-pointer.

The Lady Knights hit five of nine free throws down the stretch to close out the Lady Mustangs and escape with the 59-43 victory.

Riggenbach led all scorers in the game with 23 points, going seven for 11 from the floor, including three three-point baskets. Emily Bauer fought some foul trouble in the second half, but still came away with 10 points, while Crowle added nine points off of three three-pointers.

"We knw it was going to be a battle and a grind out game," said Crestview coach Greg Rickard. "We got in foul trouble but we had some people come in off the bench and do a good job. We knew we needed to keep it close and give outselves a chance to win it at the end, and I was very pleased with how we finished. Allen East has been playing well and has some nice athletes so we knew it was going to be tough."

The win moves the Lady Knights to 17-2 on the season and 7-0 in the Northwest conference. An Ada loss assured the Lady Knights at least a share of the conference title. One win in the final two conference games for Crestview will give the Lady Knights the title outright.

"I told the girls, it's hard to win a conference title in basketball," said Rickard. "There are so many good teams and we haven't done it since 2009. We have finished runner-up in the years since, but it's nice to get that top spot. Now we want to be greedy and take it outright and we have to games to do that."

Clum led the way for the Lady Mustangs with 15 points, while Rowe added 12.

Even though Allen East came up short, coach Jarrod Wehri was very pleased with the effort his team gave him.

"I thought our effort was tremendous. We just missed a few shots here and there. If we get those to fall it stays close at the end and we don't have to foul as much. It's hard to be you best offensively while one the road, but we went on a few spurts to keep us in it. You have to give all the credit to Crestview though. They are a nice team, very well coached and very disciplined. "

The loss drops Allen East to 9-8 on the season and 4-3 in the NWC.

Score by Quarters

Crestview - 12 9 12 26 - 59

Allen East - 10 11 10 12 - 43

Crestview (59) Crowle 0-0 3-4 0-0 9, Mercer 2-3 0-0 2-3 6, Riggenbach 4-5 3-6 6-9 23, Henry 2-2 0-0 0-0 4, Bauer 3-6 0-0 4-4 10, Motycka 2-6 0-1 3-6 7

Allen East (43) Rowe 3-5 0-2 6-6 12, Clum 2-6 1-3 8-10 15, Truex 1-2 0-5 0-2 2, Woods 1-3 0-3 0-0 2, Salyers 1-6 1-4 0-0 5, Richardson 0-1 1-4 0-0 3, Conkle 2-8 0-0 0-0 4

Three-Point Baskets: Crestview: 6 (Crowle 3, Riggenbach 3); Allen East: 3 (Clum, Salyers, Richardson)