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Athenians blitz Trojans, 69-53

Crawfordsville was clicking on all cylinders on Friday and capped off the regular season with a 69-53 victory over Covington.

The Trojans (15-7) took a brief 3-2 lead, before the Athenians (15-7) went on a 13-2 run during the middle part of the first quarter and Crawfordsville never trailed again.

James Gineris connected on four baskets and Trent Johnson made four free throws as the Athenians opened up a 19-6 lead after the opening period.

Points kept pouring in during the second thanks to Cameron Harris’ lift while coming off the bench. The junior hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 11 second-quarter points, helping extend Crawfordsville’s lead to 17 by halftime.

Harris and senior Devin Guard each made 3-pointers on three consecutive possessions, allowing the Athenians to double up Covington 50-25 less than two minutes into the second half.

As efficient as Crawfordsville’s offense was, its defense played a vital role in putting the game away before the third quarter.

“I thought our defense was good for three quarters,” Athenian coach David Pierce said. “They’re a good ball club. They’re a tough team to defend because everyone can shoot.”

A large part of the success on defense came from holding Covington’s leading scorer, Luke Cooper, to just five points and without a field goal until midway through the final period. That was due in large part Johnson, a senior captain, who did what he always does.

“Trent’s a lockdown defender,” Pierce said. “He just gives guys fits. Trent’s one of the better defenders we’ve had in a long time. He just shuts guys down.”

Covington made a final push in the fourth quarter to get within 11 on a Tanner Cates 3-pointer, but Crawfordsville finished the game on an 11-3 run over the final 2:49.

Spencer Pettit led the Trojans with 24 points and Aiden Tanner added 11.

Like they have for much of the season, the Athenians spread the scoring around. Harris, Guard and Gineris each scored in double-figures. Harris led the way with 18 points, while Gineris had 17 and Guard scored 15 points.

The Athenians shot 54 percent from the field, including 6 of 13 from behind the arc.

“I thought we shot the ball really well tonight,” Pierce said. “I thought the 3-pointers we shot were good 3’s, where we attacked and kicked out. That’s fun to watch, because that’s just team basketball.”

Crawfordsville will play Greencastle at 7 p.m. in the opening round of the sectional on Tuesday at Greencastle.

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