When Crawfordsville and North Montgomery girls met up back on Dec. 17 the game was literally decided on the last shot as senior Madi Welch drained the game-winning three in the final seconds as the Chargers defeated their county rival 42-39.
This time around the two rivals will meet up once again but with the stakes being much bigger. The Athenians and Chargers drew one another in the Class 3A Sectional 25 which takes place at Danville and will square off in game one on Wednesday which gets underway at 6 p.m.
“We’re really excited about the draw,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said. “We still have a bad taste in our mouth of how that game ended. We felt like we did everything but finish in that game. Now we get the ultimate chance of redemption in a win or go home scenario. It’ll be another challenging task, but one we’re certainly up for.”
The Athenians ended the regular season with an overall record of 7-15 while the Chargers saw a winning season at 12-9. Both the Athenians and the Chargers were able to end their seasons with wins as CHS defeated Frankfort 52-47 while the Chargers earned a hard fought 43-39 win in overtime against Western Boone.
North Montgomery coach Ryan Nuppnau knows his team in order to be victorious against CHS a second time, will have to play a little better.
“We know that they’re (Crawfordsville) are going to be hungry for this game,” Nuppnau said. “We’ve had some success against them and they’re going to want to prove something. We just have to come out and play poised, confident and mature. We have a lot of experience and have been in some big games before so it’s just a matter of us using that experience in our favor.”
The Chargers will be and have been without their leading scorer and rebounder in senior Katie Rice. In her absence, the Chargers have seen freshman Piper Ramey step up as well as many others as Nuppnau alludes to.
“You never want to go into a game without your leading scorer,” he said. “But Piper has proven the last few games that she can step up and take on that scoring role. We’re not too worried about not having Katie, because we have other girls like Madi Welch, Lydia Dugard, Hadley Broadwater who will step up and play to their potential.”
The Athenians are led by senior, do it all guard Shea Williamson who leads the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals, and blocks. Fellow seniors Olivia Reed, Liddy McCarty and Kearston Hutchens all provide the Athenians with a well-balanced attack.
Crawfordsville has had a rough go the last few years in the sectional drawing Danville the last two seasons. Smith sees this opportunity as a chance to get his seniors a sectional victory which would be a great way for them to end their careers.
“I can’t even put it into words what a win would mean to those girls,” he said. “It’d make it even more special considering the opponent and that our seniors haven’t been able to defeat North in their careers. It’d be a nice story and a nice ending, but we have to go out an earn it.”
The winner between the Athenians and the Chargers will advance to the sectional semi-finals on Friday and will play in the second game at 7:30 against the winner between Monrovia and host Danville.