OLIVESBURG — Aaron Goon has a good thing going.
Crestview’s veteran coach has quietly built a girls basketball powerhouse along the Richland-Ashland County line during his seven years at the helm, and that trend has continued in the early portion of the 2020-21 season.
The Cougars ran their Firelands Conference winning streak to 25 straight games after Thursday’s 68-34 win over Mapleton. Crestview is 9-2 on the season and has won six in a row.
“These girls have really bought and gotten after it defensively,” said Goon, who is 118-35 since inheriting the program from Tracy Richards prior to the 2014-15 season. “They are working hard on the defensive end of the floor and that leads to a little easier offense for us at times.
“We’ve just got to make sure that we stay focused and do the things we’re good at. If we can do that, usually we end up OK.”
When Goon first took over the program, he had a generational talent in Renee Stimpert running the show. Stimpert averaged 29.4 points a game as a junior and 27.7 points a night as a senior, leading the Cougars to an outright Firelands Conference crown and the Associated Press Division III poll championship in 2016.
The following season Crestview finished 11-11, but in the three full seasons since then the Cougars have won no fewer than 17 games a year. Crestview was 20-5 and won a sectional title before falling to Margaretta in the Division III district tournament at Shelby.
Crestview was a perfect 14-0 in Firelands Conference action last season. The Cougars are trying to win consecutive FC titles for the first time since winning three straight from 1994-95 to 1996-97.
“Our main goal is to be conference champs,” said junior guard Mary Leeper, who scored 16 points in a 60-36 win over Division I Ashland earlier this week.
Leeper is one of seven returning letter winners. That group includes senior Kenedi Goon, an imposing power forward and a Tiffin volleyball recruit.
The 6-foot-2 Goon is averaging 13.4 points a game and scored 22 in Thursday’s win over Mapleton.
“It’s just a mentality. I have goals set for every game and I really try to meet those goals,” Goon said. “Each of my teammates help me pull it off. All their hard work pays off.”
Leeper and Goon have gotten plenty of help from 6-foot senior guard Kylie Ringler, who is averaging nine points a night.
“It’s one of those things where we always seem to have somebody different step up,” Aaron Goon said. “I think we’ve had five different leading scorers this year.”
Thursday’s game against Mapleton marked the midway point of the Firelands Conference season. The Cougars begin second-round play next week at Plymouth.
“We are 7-0 (in the Firelands) so far. That’s always our first goal is to be FC champs,” Kenedi Goon said. “Last year we were Firelands Conference champs, too. And being 7-0 this year, that’s a big target on our back. We can use that as an advantage.
“We keep working hard and everything will fall into place for us.”