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Athenian boys earn hard fought win

A grind it out type of win.

That’s how Crawfordsville coach David Pierce described the Athenians 67-62 Sagamore Conference victory over Frankfort on Friday.

For an 8th-straight game, the Athenians (10-4, 2-2) struggled from the field — connecting on just 22-of-51 (43%) shots — including only five made 3-pointers on 19 attempts.

“Until they get over that hump in game situations, they’re just going to have to keep grinding,” Pierce said. “I’m proud of their effort. When we got done I’m not happy with how we played, but I’m proud that we got the win.”

Fortunately for the Athenians, their senior leaders dug deep when it mattered most.

After Frankfort (5-8, 1-3) jumped out to a 12-6 lead late in the first quarter, the Athenians settled in and took control with a 33-28 halftime advantage. Senior Gavin Kenny knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and senior Ian Hensley scored 12 of his 16 points in the first 16 minutes.

Another run by Crawfordsville made it 46-37 Athenians on a pair of Hensley free throws with 2:41 left in the third quarter.

Through the first five minutes of the third period, Crawfordsville held Frankfort big man Jayce Strode scoreless, but the sophomore, who scored 15 of his game-high 23 points in the first half, scored four straight points as the Hot Dogs ended the quarter on an 8-0 run to make it 46-45 Athenians.

“I’ll give Frankfort credit,” Pierce said. “I thought they did a nice job of going to Strode inside.”

Field goals from Josh Meeks and Riley Goodnight pushed Frankfort ahead 49-46 for the first time since the first half early in the fourth quarter, but Wallace and Kellerman were waiting for their senior moments. First Wallace scored twice inside to give the Athenians the lead back, before Kellerman scored seven-straight to make it 59-51 Crawfordsville with 3:40 to play. Senior Alex Hernandez scored a later bucket and Ziair Morgan iced it with a pair of free throws in the final minute.

“That’s seniors,” Pierce said. “I don’t know if we could do that if we didn’t have seniors. Because seniors just want to do whatever it takes to win.”

Kellerman led the way with 17, Hensley added 16, Morgan 11, Wallace nine, Kenny eight, and Hernandez six.

“I was super proud of our post guys,” Pierce said. “I thought Mekhi and Alex did a great job on the boards, and kicking it out to guys. I thought Ian did a nice job and was able to get to line. I thought Gavin’s outside shooting in the first half, Z (Morgan) was right there with 11, Ian 16 and Kellerman 17. Those are good things, but the scary thing for them is in practice and in the past, each three of those kids could have had 20. They just didn’t shoot as well as they could have.”

Goodnight added 12 for the Hot Dogs, all in the second half.

Crawfordsville will host Northview tonight at 7:30 p.m.

Crawfordsville 67, Frankfort 62

Score By Quarter

FF 12 16 17 17 — 62

CHS 12 21 13 21 — 67

CRAWFORDSVILLE (10-4, 2-2): Ziair Morgan 4 2-3 11, Alex Kellerman 5 5-6 17, Ian Hensley 4 8-9 16, Gavin Kenny 3 0-0 8, Drake Burris 0 0-0 0, Cale Coursey 0 0-0 0, Alex Hernandez 3 0-0 6, Mekhi Wallace 4 1-2 9; Totals 22-51 16-20 67.

FRANKFORT (5-8, 1-3): Doug Wood 1 4-4 7, Josh Meeks 2 0-0 4, Deacon Spencer 2 2-2 7, Kye Kirby 4 0-1 9, Quentcy Perry 0 0-0 0, Riley Goodnight 5 0-1 12, Jayce Strode 11 1-1 23; Totals 19-47 6-9 62.

3-Point Shooting: FF 5-13 (Goodnight 2, Wood, Spencer, Kirby), CHS 5-19 (Kellerman 2, Kenny 2, Morgan).

Rebounds: FF 16, CHS 20

Turnovers: FF 21, CHS 15

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