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Athenians battle through slow start for first win

VEEDERSBURG — It had been a rough three games to open the season for the Crawfordsville girls basketball team. Nonetheless the Athenians made the short trip to Fountain Central looking for their first win of the season. The Mustangs quickly got out to an 11-2 lead in the opening quarter, but after that it was all Crawfordsville. A 19-2 run after that allowed the Athenians to pick up their first win of the season as they came away with a 42-30 win.

“We’ve been working so hard early on,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said. “It feels nice to finally crack that win column after a rough start to the year. We saw it all come together tonight and we needed it with what lied ahead.”

Senior Shea Williamson led the way for the Athenians (1-3, 0-1 SAC) as she finished with a game-high 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the win. Fellow seniors Olivia Reed and Kearston Hutchens chipped in nine points each, Liddy McCarty added four and Elyse Widmer two.

“She was unbelievable tonight,” Smith said. “I really can’t think of any other word than that. She played like a leader tonight and we look to her to fill up the stat sheet and she did that for us. She took the game over and when she did that others followed, so that was good to see.”

What fueled the Athenian run was their ability to apply pressure to the Mustangs who ended the night with 26 turnovers. Their defense was able to turn into fast break situations and get some easy buckets for their offense.

“We stressed that our defense could create some offense for us,” Smith said. “We got good looks early but they weren’t falling. We got some steals and some deflections and I told them in the locker room that’s how we have to play. When you play like we did tonight on defense it starts to build confidence on the other side.”

For the Mustangs who fall to 2-4 on the season, they came in riding high off a 50-48 win over Southmont last Thursday. The young group was unable to find any consistent offensive rhythm and couple that with the turnovers and it made for a long night.

“We weren’t doing anything to put pressure on them on defense,” Good said. “That really stands out when you look at the free-throw totals and how aggressive they were getting to the basket. We simply didn’t do a good job of that and if you want to win a game like that you have got to attack the basket.”

Crawfordsville dominated the free-throw totals as they converted 15-22 attempts. The Mustangs were able to get to the line just a single time on the night, knocking down their lone attempt.

Jerzie Hershberger led Fountain Central with 12 points in the game. Hannah Prickett added in nine while Brailey Hoagland and Larissa Bowers each had four. Rylee Simko rounded out the scoring with three in the Mustang loss.

“Instead of getting back on defense and playing sound on that end, we’d end up throwing it away and try to get a block or steal and end up putting them on the line,” Good said. “We had a lot of silly fouls and that does come with being a young team.”

While the season is still young for Fountain Central they are still going through some growing pains and are learning how to deal with the highs and lows of a long season.

“I think a big part of that is learning how to approach practice,” Good said. “Our practice the other day wasn’t that good and that bled over into tonight. We weren’t as aggressive and didn’t go very hard and that was a little bit because of the win on Thursday. I joke with them and say that when I compliment them, they stop trying to get better. We just never got going tonight.”

The Athenians will now turn their attention to the annual Girls Sugar Creek Classic which will take place Friday and Saturday at Western Boone. Crawfordsville drew county rival Southmont and the two will play in game one of the tournament Friday night at 6 p.m.

Fountain Central returns to the court Thursday as they travel to take on Frontier.

Crawfordsville 42, Fountain Central 30

CHS 9 12 8 13 — 42

FC 11 2 10 7 —30

Crawfordsville (1-3, 0-1) FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Olivia Reed 2-7 4-9 9, Elyse Widmer 0-1 2-2 2, Kearston Hutchens 3-9 2-2 9, Liddy McCarty 1-3 2-2 4, Shea Williamson 6-14 4-7 18, Taylor Abston 0-5 0-0 0, Totals 12-39 14-22 42

Fountain Central (2-4): Rylee Simko 1-2 0-0 3, Brailey Hoagland 2-8 0-0 4, Jerzi Hershberger 5-8 0-0 12, Hannah Prickett 4-8 1-1 9, Audree Brown 0-2 0-0 0, Larissa Bowers 2-4 0-0 4, Totals 14-33 1-1 30

3-Point Shooting: CHS 4-15 (Williamson 2, Hutchens, Reed), FC 3-7 (Hershberger 2, Simko)

Rebounding: CHS 26 FC 24

Turnovers: CHS 18 FC 26

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