Crawfordsville opened with a good first quarter that turned out to be the difference in a 69-51 victory over Attica on Tuesday.
And after dropping each of the last two games to tough teams, the Athenians entered Tuesday’s matchup with the Red Ramblers aggressive, yet with a cautious approach.
“We were nervous going into it because Attica’s tough,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “They played (Central Catholic) down to the wire and they’ve won some games they weren’t supposed to.”
The Athenians (14-6) forced Attica to five turnovers overs in the opening quarter and outscored the Red Ramblers 24-8 in the first.
Crawfordsville used a 14-2 run early on to build a lead and the Athenians took a 17-3 lead when Jack Sommer scored with 3:16 to go in the first quarter. Later, Cameron Harris hit a 3-pointer and Trent Johnson made two free throws to put Crawfordsville ahead 24-8 entering the second quarter.
“We pushed it hard because (Attica’s) good,” Pierce said. “We knew that we needed to get some defensive stops. We held them to eight points in the first quarter and that’s huge. I thought our defense was exceptional and then that turned into transition and getting to the rim. Our two things tonight where defense and attack the rim. It worked out well for us.”
The Athenians scored 15 points off 11 Attica turnovers and the Red Ramblers (7-11) turned it over five times in the first period alone.
James Gineris scored eight of his game-high 24 points in the first quarter and finished 8-of-11 shooting, including three 3-pointers. Harrison had four 3s and 14 points, while Devin Guard scored 10 points and Johnson added six points with eight rebounds.
But it was Crawfordsville’s defensive, specifically early on in the game, that sticks out to Pierce.
“I was most pleased with our defense,” Pierce said. “We were able to hold four really good basketball players fairly well under their average or right at their average.”
Chase Little and Logan Harmeson each scored 17 points and Austin Durham added 10 points for the Red Ramblers, who have lost three straight and next travel to Rockville on Friday with a shot at breaking a third-place tie with the Rox in the Wabash River Conference standings.
Crawfordsville is at Danville at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Sagamore Conference play. The Warriors (14-7) are tied for first in the SAC with Tri-West at 5-1 in league play.
“There’s a couple of things that we’ll have to work on,” Pierce said. “They like to put pressure on you and we’ll have to clean up some little things. The key against Danville is, hopefully we can do some of the things we did tonight, play really good defense and block-out. You have to get stops against Danville because they’re five, seven, eight deep. On offense we’ll have to be patient. Not patient as in taking time off the clock, but patient as in waiting for the right shot. If we do that, we’ll be alright.”