For a third time this season, Crawfordsville will have a shot at Southmont in girls basketball. The Athenians will kickoff the IHSAA 3A Sectional at Southmont against the host Mounties tonight at 6 p.m. Crawfordsville closed the regular season at 3-19, and is eager at another chance at Southmont, who finished 6-15.
In two regular season meetings, Crawfordsville and Southmont split the series. The Athenians beat the Mounties 59-51 in the Sugar Creek Classic semi-final back on Nov. 16, while the Mounties returned the favor with a 51-43 win at Crawfordsville last Wednesday. “In the meeting last week, we got beat pretty badly on the boards, and allowed Southmont too many second chance points,” Crawfordsville coach Tony Bean said. “We also struggled keeping players in front of us, simply containing them, and limiting them to no more than one shot per possession is a key.” The Athenians quickly moved past last week’s loss to the Mounties by beating Frankfort on the road 59-56 last Friday for their first Sagamore Conference win since 2016. The win ended a 16 game losing streak, and saw some season and career-high performances from many individuals. “Coming off of a great win at Frankfort, we are certainly feeling confident and looking forward to the opportunity for the rubber match against Southmont,” Bean said. “It’s safe to say that several players had their best games of the season on Friday, most notably Lauren Kellerman and Shea Williamson. They played aggressively on both ends of the court and Shea was really looking to score which made a huge difference.” Williamson, a freshman, scored a career-high 17 points in the win at Frankfort, while Kellerman added 20. The junior leads the Athenians in scoring with just under 14 points per game. Southmont’s two forwards in Lilly Ward and Belle Miller proved to be the difference in the last meeting, but Bean feels like the Athenians can overcome that height deficiency with their overall team speed. “Southmont has a height advantage with Lilly Ward and Belle Miller, but we have quickness that we can use to our advantage,” he said. “That will be an interesting part of the game, size versus quickness, which one prevails?”
The winner will get Lebanon on Friday night in the first semi-final. The Tigers closed the season at 12-10, earning a pair of victories over Crawfordsville and Southmont. Crawfordsville fell to Lebanon 68-43, after keeping things close for much of the first three quarters back on Nov. 30. “It would be a tremendous achievement to advance on to the semi-finals and get another shot at Lebanon,” Bean said. “We certainly feel like we have improved significantly since we played them early in the season and would love to have the opportunity to go to the sectional championship game if we could put a couple of our best games together this week.
Nitty Gritty Southmont won the last meeting 51-43. Crawfordsville owns the series last 15 years 17-10. The Athenians average 37.9 points per game, and give up 58.5 points per game. The Mounties average 40.4 points per game, and give up 51.8 points per game. Lauren Kellerman leads Crawfordsville with 13.8 points per game. Lilly Ward leads Southmont with 11 points per game.