Phinisee’s last-second shot lifts McCutcheon past Crawfordsville
January 22, 2020
Crawfordsville drops to 7-5 following non-conference loss
Crawfordsville’s boys’ basketball team experienced the highs and lows of a game within the final 13.1 seconds of its 53-50 loss at home to McCutcheon Tuesday evening.
The elation of a Jesse Hall game-tying 3-pointer with 13.3 seconds to play was quickly erased when McCutcheon junior Joe Phinisee hit the game-winning 3-pointer with just .9 seconds left in the game to help the Mavericks snap a four-game losing streak.
“We designed the play to go to Dra Gibbs (Lawhorn),” Maverick coach Tyler Scherer said. “Crawfordsville was all over him and Payton (Fulk) made that extra pass to Joe and he was wide open and buried the shot. It was a clutch basket for him and us.”
Crawfordsville, and everyone in the gym, knew Lawhorn would be the person the Mavericks (7-8) wanted to take the final shot. After all, he did end the game with a game-high 27 points and was 6-of-7 from 3-point range in the game.
“We weren’t going to let him (Lawhorn) get the final shot and we didn’t want them to get the ball inside because they are so athletic,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “We did that. The ball went to a guy who is only hitting like 30 percent from behind the line and he buried it. That is the shot we wanted them to take. That’s a shot that kid misses 7-out-of-10 times — so be it.”
The disappointing finish for the Athenians (7-5) overshadowed a solid second-half effort. The same could not be said for the first half, especially the second quarter.
“I was very disappointed in our defensive effort in the first half,” Pierce said.
After watching McCutcheon take a 14-11 lead after the first quarter, the Athenians were outscored 18-7 in the second quarter and trailed 32-18 at the break. In fact, Lawhorn had outscored the entire Athenians team 19-18 in the first half.
“I can’t explain it,” Pierce said. “There was no since of urgency on defense in the second quarter and we just weren’t doing what needed to be done. We made some adjustments.”
In the third quarter, it was the Athenians’ turn to go on a run. Crawfordsville (7-5) outscored the visitors 19-7 to cut the deficit to 40-37 heading into the final quarter of play.
Crawfordsville continued to apply the pressure and created eight fourth-quarter turnovers, after forcing six in the third quarter and 19 for the game.
“Believe it or not but we have never had a two or three possession lead in the fourth quarter and we didn’t know how to play with the lead,” Scherer said. “Give Crawfordsville all the credit they came after us, but we helped by trying to make jump passes when we didn’t really need to. It was something new for us and hopefully we will learn from it.”
The Athenians trailed 48-39 with just over three minutes to play and cut the lead to 48-47 with 51 seconds to play on a Ty Lynas baseline drive. The lead went back to three on a pair of free throws with 37 seconds to play before Hall’s key 3-point basket with 13.1 seconds to play.
“I saw some good things in the second half,” Pierce said. “I thought Carson, along with the rest of the team, did a great job limiting Lawhorn to just eight points in the second half. I thought Cole (Watt) and Carson did a good jump with our run-and-jump defense to get us some turnovers. That second quarter just killed us.”
Hall and Karsten Williamson led the Athenians with 16 points each, while Lawhorn, who is just a freshman, was the lone double-figure scorer for McCutcheon with 27 points. Phinisee ended the game with nine points.
Crawfordsville has a double weekend coming up as they will travel to Fountain central on Friday and then will battle Southmont on Saturday, also on the road.