NEW MARKET — Crawfordsville and Southmont squared off in girls basketball for the third time in the IHSAA Sectional opener at Southmont, after the two teams split a pair of regular season meetings. The postseason matters most though, and the Athenians took the lead early in the second quarter, and never looked back in a 64-53 win.
“Spread the floor, find the gaps, and never be afraid to drive, never be afraid to shoot, and never be afraid of contact,” Crawfordsville coach Tony Bean said about the Athenians’ game plan. “And just play, and we had multiple girls do that.” The Athenians had a handful of girls stuff the stat sheet with four in double-figures. Lauren Kellerman led the way with 18, while Olivia Barnett and Peyton Sinnet each scored 13, and Shea Williamson added 11. Southmont led 9-6 after one quarter, behind seven quick points from Addi Charles. The sophomore scored 17 in the loss. But Barnett and Sinnet had different plans as Crawfordsville quickly turned the tides in the second quarter. After a pair of Williamson free throws gave the Athenians the lead at 15-13 with 5:54 left in the first half, Sinnet buried back-to-back 3-pointers and Barnett added a bucket to extend the lead to 23-18. Sinnet hit another trey to push the lead to six just before half, and Barnett added another midway through the third to push Crawfordsville ahead 44-35. The duo combined for six of the Athenians’ seven 3-pointers, as Crawfordsville connected on 22-of-55 field goals. “It was them making shots,” Southmont coach Dustin Oakley said. “I mean that’s the most shots I’ve seen them make since maybe the first time we played them. That’s the best offensive game I’ve seen them play in three years.” The Athenians looked unstoppable at times in the third quarter, extending the lead to 46-38 heading into the fourth as five different girls made field goals in the period. “I’m just so proud of them,” Bean said. “I mean it’s the best game that any of these girls have played in their high school career.”
After a Barnett 3-pointer and Williamson basket pushed the Athenians to their biggest lead at 51-38 early in the fourth quarter, the Mounties tried to claw back into it, but were never able to shift the momentum. Lilly Ward scored at the 4:54 mark and added a put-back with 3:27 left to make it 55-47, but Southmont failed to score over the next 1:16, and Crawfordsville sealed it at the free throw line with a 7-of-8 effort in the fourth quarter. “I just though they were more confident every time they took it to the basket, and we were just fading away,” Oakley said. “And just throwing the ball up there to get a shot off. It was just not good overall team toughness for us tonight.” Ward led all scorers with 19 in the last high school game of her career. The Mounties clicked on just 17-of-57 shots, and were 14-of-27 from the charity stripe. Crawfordsville will now play Lebanon in the first semi-final game tonight at Southmont at 6 p.m. The Athenians fell to the Tigers 68-43 in the regular season, and Bean knows they will have to be the aggressor starting with rebounding if they want a chance to make it competitive against a much bigger and physical Lebanon team. “It’s will and want to and fight,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what the size is, we’ve got to want it. I’m a believer that rebounding is a want more than anything else. Of course you’ve got to be in position, but if you want, you will be in position.” Crawfordsville 64, Southmont 53 CHS 6 22 18 18 — 64 SM 9 14 15 15 — 53 Crawfordsville (4-19): Olivia Reed 1 0-0 3, Olivia Barnett 5 0-0 13, Lauren Kellerman 6 6-6 18, Liddy McCarty 0 0-0 0, Peyton Sinnet 5 0-0 13, Shea Williamson 4 3-5 11, Addie Laskowski 1 4-6 6; Totals 22-55 13-17 64 Southmont (6-16): Bailey Thompson 0 1-2 1, Emma Ward 0 2-2 2, Lilly Ward 8 2-3 19, Hannah Thompson 2 2-6 6, Addi Charles 7 1-2 17, Belle Miller 0 3-4 3, Natalie Manion 1 3-8 5, Claire Remley 0 0-0 0; Totals 17-57 14-27 53 3-Point Shooting: Crawfordsville 7-23 (Barnett 3, Sinnet 3, Reed), Southmont 3-14 (Charles 2, Ward) Rebounds: Crawfordsville 38, Southmont 42 Turnovers: Crawfordsville 15, Southmont 16