Athenians hopeful of continued success on hardwood
November 27, 2019
Coming off a 16-win season and Sagamore Conference championship — Crawfordsville boys’ basketball continues to be hungry for success.
Reigning Journal Review player of the year Jesse Hall is back for his junior season, and so is senior point guard Karsten Williamson. They return a combined 25 points per game, and will be leaned on heavily as the Athenians chase repeat success.
“We are going to lean on them heavily, and they’re going to carry a lot of our burden and our weight for us to be successful,” 10th-year coach David Pierce said.
Pierce says other players will have to step in as well, including members of last years’ 21-1 junior-varsity team. He says the success from that team coupled with a good summer has the Athenians in a prime spot for a successful start to the season.
“I think the offseason is the biggest one. That’s where we make the biggest jump on teams, and our opponents,” he said. “Lucky for us, our kids have always put in the time and effort in the offseason. After the JV went 21-1 we were able to work this summer, and kind of define and build confidence in our scorers.”
Crawfordsville will look to sophomore Ian Hensley and junior Ty Lynas to help replace nearly 50 percent of their scoring lost from last season.
“Ian Hensley and Ty Lynas are just lights out offensively,” Pierce said. “And they’re going to get the third and fourth best defender, and that’s encouraging.”
The Athenians also expect to gain an inside presence from sophomore Mekhi Wallace and junior Nate Schroeter.
“As far as scoring, I think we are going to be okay,” Pierce added. “We have a lot of talented guys that have been playing basketball for a long time, and not it’s their time to shine.”
Pierce says the biggest thing Crawfordsville will miss from last years’ group of seniors that included Will Kellerman (10.6 points per game), Anthony Gonzalez (8.4 points per game), and Cam Saunders (5/9 points per game) is their leadership.
“The one piece from those guys last year that we will miss is their leadership,” he said. “They were great leaders, and we are working on that now. Constantly trying to push guys to hold each other accountable.”
Goals of staying on top of the county and conference, and winning their first sectional since 2014 remains the same heading into the 2019-20 season, and Pierce is confident they have what it takes to get where they want to go.
“We think we have the talent to go far,” he said. “Farther than what our goals were last year. As long as we keep pushing for that and see the big picture — I think we can achieve our goals from last year and this year and beyond.”
Crawfordsville opens the season tonight at 7:30 p.m. at home against Greencastle in a rematch of last years’ sectional final thriller.