DANVILLE — Illnesses and players missing left Crawfordsville girls’ basketball shorthanded in its sectional opener, and Danville took advantage of it in a 68-12 win.
“If we were at full strength, I don’t think we would have been that timid,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith reacted after the loss that ended the Athenians season. “Part of our game plan was to be extremely patient on offense, even if we get behind a little bit, because Danville has an elite offense.”
It didn’t matter how patient the Athenians (6-17) wanted to be, the Warriors (18-5) sped up Crawfordsville into 16 first half turnovers, and took a 35-5 lead at the half. Danville senior and Hendricks County all-time leading scorer Ella Collier scored 21 of her game-high points in the first half.
Crawfordsville attempted just eight shots in the first half, and failed to make a field goal until senior Peyton Sinnet hit a 3-pointer with 7:40 to play in the game, and the Athenians trailing 55-5.
“Shooters need to shoot,” Smith said. “I thought we had some good looks and they just weren’t falling. And then we finally got one to go, and for a lot of our girls that’s when their confidence goes up. And especially seniors in their last moments, you might as well get them up there and see if you can get a couple to go in.”
Sinnet led the Athenians with eight points. Katie Davis chipped in 11 for the Warriors.
The careers of seniors Lauren Kellerman, Megan Simmons, and Sinnet are over, but Smith feels confident they helped leave the program in a better place.
“To rebuild you have to start somewhere, and I feel like we did that,” he said. “Major strides, and tonight doesn’t take anything away from that. We are really proud of what we’ve accomplished.”
Danville will face Tri-West on Friday in the second semi-final, following North Montgomery and Frankfort. The Class 3A No. 15 Warriors are searching for their fourth-straight sectional title.