Area teams looking for more improvement

All four area boys’ basketball teams are heading in different directions. While each is trying to find their identity as the season takes its’ next turn, only Crawfordsville is surging toward its’ season goals. The Athenians won last weekend’s Sugar Creek Classic with wins over North Montgomery 49-35, and Western Boone 58-53. Southmont defeated North Montgomery in the consolation game 48-42, but has failed to win a game against a team other than the Chargers this season, while North Montgomery has just two wins on the season themselves. Fountain Central is keeping its head above water, but went 1-2 last week, and is falling behind in the Wabash River Conference race.

North Montgomery (2-10, 0-2) is the lone team with a conference game this weekend. The Chargers travel to Danville (6-5, 1-1) for a Sagamore Conference matchup. North Montgomery is still looking its’ first conference win since February of 2016, and coach Andrew Evertts knows this stretch of the season his crucial for his struggling team. “This has been a tough week for our guys,” he said. “We are at the point where I think we are losing some games that we should be winning. Our practices have been very intense this week, and I think all of our guys would agree we are getting better because of that. Our staff is ensuring that our players maintain a high work ethic, and we are focusing on details that have been hurting us in games.” Southmont (2-11) will play the second game of a double-header on Friday against Seeger (7-2), before returning to the court on Saturday, when they host Riverton Parke (3-9). Coach Jake Turner says the Mounties are continuing to focus on getting better each and every day. “I know this sounds like coach speak, but we really try to focus on being in the moment and winning each day,” he said. “We just need to be more consistent. If we are consistent in practice, then we will be more consistent in games. We have played some good basketball for stretches during games, but for us to reach our potential and have the chance to win more games, we need to practice well on a consistent basis and play 32 minutes of solid basketball.” Fountain Central carries an 8-6 record into a non-conference game at North Newton (2-9) on Friday, but has lost four of their last six, including a double-overtime loss at Seeger 70-62, and a 53-48 overtime loss to Sheridan. The Mustangs only have one game this weekend, and first-year coach Phil Shabi knew it was important to regroup mentally, before refocusing on the games ahead.

“After a three game weekend, including two games that went to overtime, I thought the most important thing was to make sure we refreshed a bit mentally,” Shabi said. “On Monday I surprised the guys with a day off and trip to Crawfordsville for bowling and pizza. It was great to do something fun together as a team. That little road trip probably did more for us than any practice could have.” Crawfordsville (7-3) has checked one goal off the list by paddling their way to a Sugar Creek Classic title, and are now chasing more season goals. Although the Athenians have a single non-conference game at home against Clinton Prairie (7-4) on Saturday, the Gophers are the first opponent of a tough stretch for the Athenians. “Clinton Prairie is a very similar team to us,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “They are 7-4 and have pretty balanced scoring. They like to work the ball to get efficient shots and play good defense. They almost have four players averaging double figures, so we will have to come ready to play.” After Clinton Prairie, Crawfordsville will face McCutcheon, Fountain Central and Southmont.

Girls Basketball North Montgomery (3-15, 1-3) will travel to Danville (13-4, 4-0) for a Sagamore Conference matchup on Friday at 6 p.m. The Chargers are looking for just their second league win, while the Warriors are chasing a third-straight conference title. Southmont (4-10) will host a red-hot Seeger team that is 15-3 on Friday night as part of a double-header at 6 p.m. First the Mounties will face another Wabash River Conference opponent in Attica on the road tonight at 7:30 p.m. Fountain Central (3-15) will play the first game of a doubleheader at North Newton (9-6) on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Mustangs have lost 10 in a row, while the Spartans are winners of six straight.