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Tigers clamp down on Athenians

LEBANON — The Lebanon Lady Tigers were ahead, but knew they could be better at halftime of Friday night’s Sagamore Conference match-up with Crawfordsville. They showed how much better in the second half. Lebanon out-scored Crawfordsville 20-1 in the third quarter and cruised to a 61-30 win over the Lady Athenians. “It was the first game we had a little bit of comfort, all our other games have been close late,” Lebanon head coach Candice Huckstep said. “We just wanted the girls to play relaxed, have fun and work on all our sets. That’s what they tried to do, and with some pressure off them, they played well.” It was the 16th win in a row in the series for Lebanon, which improved to 4-4 on the year. Crawfordsville dropped to 1-8 under first-year head coach Tyler Smith. “We felt pretty good in the second quarter, we cut it to seven and had a lot of energy, but we just feel apart to end the half,” Smith said. “It was a disappointing 10-minute stretch. I liked the other 22 minutes, we competed and did some things we had worked on a lot this week, but we have to play all 32 minutes.” Lebanon led 29-13 at the half, and started the third quarter off on a good note on a 3-pointer by Gabby Brewer. It continued a 9-0 run that ended the first half for the Tigers, and the run grew to 29-0 before a free throw by Crawfordsville’s Megan Simmons with less than five seconds left in the third quarter. Lebanon without a field goal for the first 11 minutes of the second half. “We told the girls that we had to talk on screens and stop getting caught on stuff,” Huckstep said. “We were closing out too close early, so we had to adjust and did a good job of keeping our distance. The girls came out and did that in the third quarter and was big for us.” Lebanon controlled the first quarter, taking a 14-3 lead after eight minutes. But the Athenians showed some fight in the second quarter. Crawfordsville went on a 10-3 run to get within 19-13 on a 3-pointer by Lauren Kellarman, but that was as close as they would get. “That was a positive for us,” Smith said. “At halftime, we talked about just being a couple plays away from being ahead at the half. There are just a few areas, and I know they are big areas, but there are a few areas that if we can correct we can go on from there.” Lebanon had a balance scoring attack on the night. Kierston Smith had 12 points to lead the Tigers, with Brewer adding 10. Ashlyn Terrill had nine, Christina Lamb had eight, Emma Huse had seven and Lyla Barr had six. Kellarman had 20 for the Athenians. Shea Williamson added six. “The great thing about Lauren is that no matter the score, she is going to look to be aggressive,” Smith said. “We need that from her each night, and she is a leader in that way.” Crawfordsville travels to Attica Dec. 10.

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