Athenians fall to Patriots in season opener


WEST LEBANON – The Crawfordsville girls’ basketball team traveled to face Seeger in their season opener and fell to the Patriots by the score of 53-24.


In the first few games of a season in any sport, it is not about wins or losses, but rather it is about seeing what is working, what is not working and showing the coach which players are trying hard enough to belong on the floor.


Athenian coach head coach Tyler Smith got a chance to find things out about his team in the game at Seeger, saying that the Patriots are “one of the best cards we will see all season.”


After having graduated most of the scoring power from last year, it is going take a while for the team to gel as they had only two players in the contest in Taylor Abston and Elyse Widmer, with any significant varsity time.


Seeger, on the other hand, is a veteran squad returning four starters albeit under a new coach in Cad Wetz.


The experience difference had the visitors playing a bit hesitantly on offense at times against a Patriot team that kept switching defenses, but Smith liked the effort.


Crawfordsville started out cold, missing some early shots that allowed Seeger to take a 6-0 lead before Taylor Abston hit a three-pointer to halve the margin.


She would go on to score all the Athenian points in the first quarter, but the hosts used a mix of scorers to take a 15-7 lead after one period.


Seeger would go on an 8-2 run to open the second quarter with the two points coming from freshman Molly Pierce.


Later in the quarter, Crawfordsville began to develop some flow to their offense to trail 30-14 at the intermission.


“We missed a lot of free throws and some bunnies,” Smith said about the first half. “If we make those, it’s a much closer game.”


Seeger continued to expand their lead in the third quarter, a period that Smith said, “where we let it get away from us”.


In that period, the Athenians had another cold spell and the hosts took a 44-16 lead in the final eight minutes.


In that fourth quarter, Crawfordsville again found Abston on the offensive end, but the team made its biggest improvement on the defensive end of the floor, turning over the Patriots on several occasions.


Key to that was the play of Pierce and Widmer who both fouled out midway through the quarter, something that did not bother Smith.


“They were hard working fouls, like stepping in front of drives,” Smith explained. “I want to point out the play of freshman Emily Pierce who came on, brought energy and had no fear out there. She did a nice job of making [Seeger high scorer Aubry] Cole work hard.”


With about three minutes left, Seeger put in their reserves and the game ended 53-24.


“I was pleased with our overall effort tonight,” Smith said. “Without having Riley Gardner tonight, I thought the other players came out and played hard. We have somethings to learn, but we’re a young team and you expect that.”


Abston ended the night with 15 points to lead CHS. The 0-1 Athenians will be back in action on Tuesday for their home opener when they host North Putnam.