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Athenians hope to ride momentum into tournament

Crawfordsville's Shea Williamson drives past North Montgomery's Maddie Moseley. The Athenian sophomore is second on the team in scoring with 8 points per game. Crawfordsville’s girls’ basketball team knows what it’s up against with their sectional opener opponent, but the Athenians are playing their best basketball of the season as the regular season came to a close with a 49-22 win over Frankfort on Friday. “We are playing well at the right time,” Athenians first-year coach Tyler Smith said. “And that’s what we’ve preached all season, whether it’s a good game or a bad game. At the end of the season we wanted to be playing our best, and we’ve definitely accomplished that.” The Athenians enter the sectional with a 6-16 record, but have won four of their last eight, including two in a row. Danville is 17-5 on the season, and won five straight to close the regular season. The Warriors are ranked No. 13 in Class 3A, and have won three-straight 3A Sectional titles. They defeated the Athenians 80-46 on Nov. 30 at Crawfordsville. “We’ve got to have that mentality of not backing down from anybody, and we can’t be afraid of any challenge,” Smith added. “Danville is one of the best teams in the state, but with the way we’ve been playing we hope to bring some of that confidence and who knows.” Ella Collier leads the Warriors in scoring with 24 points per game. The senior is the all-time leading score in Hendricks County for both genders, and eclipsed the 2,000-point mark earlier this season. Danville averages 58.3 points per game, and allow just 43.7, while Crawfordsville scores 44.3 a night, and allows 51.9 per game. Lauren Kellerman leads the Athenians with 16.4 points per game. The senior also joined the exclusive 1,000-point club earlier this season. Shea Williamson adds about eight points per game. Crawfordsville will look to stop a six-game skid against Danville, and pick up its first win over the Warriors since 2014. “We have to really limit possessions,” Smith said. “We can’t get into a track meet with them, and we are going to have to rebound well.” Defense will be the biggest key, not only stopping Collier, but Maddie Patterson, who chips in 13.2 points a game. “It’s one of those things where defense is all about desire and energy and effort more than anything,” Smith said. Tip-off is set for Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Danville. It will be followed by Tri-West Monrovia, with the winners to meet on Friday night

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