MARSHALL — Playing their first game in over three weeks, the Crawfordsville boys’ basketball team was unable to match the intensity of Parke Heritage in a 60-52 overtime loss to the Wolves on Saturday night.
The teams traded the lead multiple times during regulation, with neither team going up by more than seven. Tied at 48, the Athenians had a chance to win at the end of regulation, but were unable to convert. The Wolves (9-2) outscored the Athenians (2-2) 12-4 in overtime to seal the win.
“I was excited with our effort tonight,” coach David Pierce said. “They’re physicality took us out of some things we were trying to get done. I think we backed off to where we wanted to shoot a three instead of go to the rim and draw a foul. They were more aggressive than we were, and it showed in the amount of shots they had at the line.”
Parke Heritage made 29 trips to the foul line making 19, compared to a 9-of-14 effort for Crawfordsville. Jesse Hall and Ty Lynas each scored 17 to lead the Athenians. Depth has been a key factor for the Athenians with the ability for many guys able to contribute in the scoring column. Pierce thought that some of his “key players” just had an off night.
“That was unfortunate for us that those guys, because it’s not normally who they are out there” he said. “They know that they had an off night, and we’ll need them to step up moving forward.”
Christian Johnson’s game-high 24 points led the Wolves. He also went 9-14 from the line as he was putting the Athenian defense in a tough position all night.
“He had a heck of a night,” Pierce said. “There were some circus shots that he put up that were able to go in and drew some fouls to go along with those. We have to do a better job of not getting beat off the ball and off the dribble and allowing him to get the basket. Cale Coursey, our lockdown defender, got into foul trouble tonight so we weren’t able to put him on him as much as we would have liked.”
The Athenians will now shift their focus to the Sugar Creek Classic on Friday night. They will host North Montgomery (1-5). Pierce knows that despite the Charges record his team can’t overlook the Chargers.
“We’ve unfortunately done that in the past, and it’s cost us,” he said. “I hope they’ve learned the lesson that you can’t overlook anybody you play. Coach Arnold does a great job of getting his guys to compete and be in your face. We know that they’ll be hungry and it’s going to be a barn-burner.”