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BBB Preview: Crawfordsville a win away from history, area teams looking to end season on high note

Friday night Crawfordsville’s boys basketball team will try to do something no team in the program has done since the 1972-73 season. Win a Sagamore Conference title outright. The Athenians (15-5, 6-0 SAC) travel to Danville (12-7, 4-2 SAC), looking to win their 10th game in their last 11 tries. “We like playing away, it’s like going to war,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “We know we have to be 10 points better than the other team. We get up for away games. When you are away, you have to be more focused.” In the last 30 years, Crawfordsville has just a single win over Danville, coming on the road in 2007, 53-49. The Warriors enter with a 14-point scoring margin, averaging 65.9 points per game, and allowing just 51.8 points per game. While Danville lost a lot of talent from last years’ 22-5 team that made it all the way to the semi-state, three key players returned. “Our guards are really going to have to step up,” Pierce said. “Danville will go 6-6, 6-5, 6-5 across the front. Connor Jones is a super-skilled player. He has size and thickness. He can dribble and shoot 3’s. Dillon Ware is 6-6 and averages about 14 points, he will be a handful. Sam Comer is probably their best overall player. He is ad do-it-all guy for them. We can’t let him go off and beat us.” The Athenians enter Friday night averaging 60.9 points per game, led by sophomore Jesse Johnson-Hall at 14.9 a contest, and junior Karsten Williamson’s 10.9 points per game. “Danville is a lot like us, as far as personnel goes,” Pierce said. “Scoring and stats, it’s an even match-up. What it will come down to is who can withstand the mental focus. Get an extra rebound, block out a guy, make the extra defensive play.” Frankfort at Southmont Southmont will host Frankfort Friday night, searching for its’ third Sagamore Conference victory. The Mounties (3-17, 2-4 SAC) come in averaging just 41.8 points per game, but the Hot Dogs (2-17, 0-6) actually average less at 41.8 points a contest. “Frankfort is a team that has some talent and they play very hard,” Southmont coach Jake Turner said. “We will prepare for them just like we have every other team this year, and we will be hungry for a win. We want to win these last two homes games, not only to build some confidence headed into the tournament, but also to get two wins for our seniors in their final two home games.” Justin Howard leads the Mounties in scoring with 17.8 points a game, while Casey Henry leads the Hot Dogs with 8.9 a contest. Tri-West at North Montgomery North Montgomery let one get away against North Putnam on Tuesday, but can close Sagamore Conference play with three wins, after failing to win a league game the last two seasons. The Chargers (5-15, 2-4) will entertain Tri-West Friday night, who comes in with a negative scoring margin and just an 8-10 overall record, despite a 5-1 in the conference. The Bruins are led by four guys in double-figures, including Taylor Gardner, Dawson Wolfe, Luke Robertson, and Blake Van Slyke. North Montgomery first-year coach Andrew Evertts knows the Chargers will have to be discipline if they want a chance to win on their senior night. “Really fundamentally sound basketball team,” he said about the Bruins. “We are going to have to play a good basketball game, we are going to have to take care of the basketball, and we are going to have to stop the drive.” North Vermillion at Fountain Central Fountain Central is looking to close the season on a high note, after the last few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster. The Mustangs (12-10, 2-4 WRC) will entertain a tough North Vermillion (16-6, 3-2) team on Friday night to close out Wabash River Conference play. “We are absolutely hungry for a big win at this point in the season,” Mustangs coach Phil Shabi said. “We have been very competitive all year, and have played some good basketball, but we are looking for some momentum heading into the postseason.” The Falcons enter the game with a defensive average of 48 points per game, while Nathaniel Butts and Aaron Barnett both average 13.6 points a contest or better for the Mustangs, who average 59 points per game.

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