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Athenians inside game dominates Sparkplugs

SPEEDWAY — Crawfordsville used a dominate inside presence to knock off Speedway 69-58 in non-conference boys’ hoops on Saturday.

“I thought we did a really nice job tonight of getting it inside,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “Something like 52 points in the paint and only shot nine threes for the game, so I’m really pleased with that.”

Jesse Hall dominated the lane, leading the Athenians with 23 points. Nate Schroeter added eight and Mekhi Wallace six. Crawfordsville (5-2) out-rebounded Speedway (2-5) 41-22.

“Again, Jesse, Nate, Mekhi I thought did a nice job inside rebounding and playing high-low. I thought our guards did a better job of finding Jesse. Obviously he had a good tonight,” Pierce added.

Tied at 28-28, the Athenians closed the first half on a 6-0 run behind a 3-point play from Ty Lynas and a triple from Hall to go up 34-28. Lynas also reached double-figures with 16. Cale Coursey added seven off the bench.

Crawfordsville then broke it open in the second half, opening the third quarter on a 5-0 run. The Athenians outscored the Sparkplugs 17-12 in the period.

For the third-straight outing Crawfordsville left its opponent in the rearview mirror in the second half, and Pierce credits his older leaders for understanding the significance of the first two minutes of the third period.

“Part of that is we do have some smart kids, so when we come in at halftime and make some adjustments, they are able to execute that and that’s huge,” he said. “A lot of times in high school sports you don’t have the ability to do that, but we are really fortunate to have guys who we can make adjustments and they can actually visualize.”

Crawfordsville followed Friday night’s 50% shooting performance with an even better outing on Saturday. The Athenians knocked down 27-of-51 shots, including 26-of-43 (60%) on 2-point shots. Hall was 9-of-16 from the field.

The Athenians defense held the Sparkplugs to a 23-of-57 effort, but Speedway did connect on 6-of-16 from long range, including four from Drew Valentine, who led all scorers with 25 points.

Crawfordsville had 14 turnovers to just nine for Speedway.

Crawfordsville will host Lebanon on Wednesday, before traveling to Frankfort on Friday and Northview on Saturday.

Speedway, who played on Saturday for the first time since Dec. 18, will play ay Indianapolis Shortridge on Wednesday.

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