FRANKFORT – Momentum was on Crawfordsville’s sides as they opened the Class 3A Sectional 25 against the Tri-West Bruins. The Athenians were coming in winners of eight of their last nine including a 41-36 win over the Bruins on Feb. 11. However, the second meeting of the season went in the Bruins favor as they would pick up a 52-46 victory to advance to Friday night’s sectional semi-final and end the Athenians season.
The two SAC foes battled back and forth throughout the first quarter with the Bruins leading 13-12 and 24-20 at the half. The Athenians rallied in the third quarter to take a 33-32 lead. A 7-0 by the Bruins gave them a 43-35 advantage and Crawfordsville could never recover and the Bruins made their free-throws down the stretch to seal the win.
“They (Tri-West) got the lead early and were really able to control the pace and temp of the game,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “Even then we still played well as we outrebounded them, only turned it over seven times, but it simply came down to they made more shots than we did. Some of our guys also just had uncharacteristic nights of not being able to find the bucket.”
Alex Kellerman was the only player to score in double figures with 12 points for the Athenians. Ian Hensley and Alex Hernandez each had eight.
“AK (Kellerman) really asserted himself tonight and made his presence felt,” Pierce said of the senior. “Gavin and Alex both played really hard. Alex had to deal with their big guys down low all night and did a great job.”
Tri-West had two in double-figures as Alex Covey had a game-high 16. Ethan Depinet added 10.
On the night the Athenians shot 36% compared to 47% for the Bruins.
With the loss Crawfordsville ends their season at 17-6 and will graduate six seniors in Hensley, Hernandez, Kellerman, Ziair Morgan, Mekhi Wallace, and Gavin Kenny.
“I’m super proud of those guys and their effort tonight,” Pierce said of his six seniors. “I can’t say enough about those guys. They’re such a special group who come from great families and have been the face of our program. They’ve set us up for success for the next group that comes through here. Unfortunately, tonight was their last game and it’s going to be hard to see them go.”
The loss for the Athenians doesn’t take away from anything CHS accomplished this season. Crawfordsville won the Sugar Creek Classic and despite losing over 40 ppg in Jesse Hall and Ty Lynas, improved their win total from a season ago.
“These guys and this team especially our seniors are most definitely not defined by a single game,” Pierce said. “These guys have committed themselves to Crawfordsville basketball for the last ten years. They’ve done a heck of a job of representing what student should be and are responsible for over 80 wins for this program. They’ll be used as an example and be talked about for quite some time.”
With the win Tri-West improves to 14-9 on the season and will take on North Montgomery in the first semi-final on Friday night which will start at 6 p.m.
Tri-West 52, Crawfordsville 46
Score by Quarters
Tri-West 13 11 8 20 - 52
Crawfordsville 12 8 13 13 - 46
FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Grant Oldham 0-2 1-2 1, Drew Miller 1-4 5-6 6, Max Robertson 1-4 3-3 5, Sam Goodin 2-2 1-2 4, Dylan Beat 3-10 2-2 9, Ethan Depinet 4-10 2-4 10, Alex Covey 7-8 2-2 16; Totals 18-40 16-21 52
Ziair Morgan 1-7 0-0 3, Alex Kellerman 5-13 2-4 12, Ian Hensley 4-13 0-0 8, Gavin Kenny 2-3 0-0 5, Cale Coursey 1-3 2-2 4, Alex Hernandez 2-5 4-4 8, Mekhi Wallace 3-5 0-0 6; Totals 18-50 8-10 46
3-Pt Shooting: CHS 2-11 (Kenny, Morgan), TW 1-8 (Bear)
Rebounding: CHS 26, Tri-West 25
Turnovers: CHS 7, TW 6