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Athenians scratch out physical county victory

Crawfordsville and North Montgomery boys always bring a physical and hard hitting game. That was no different on Friday as CHS earned a hard fought 45-39 victory over their county rival. The game didn’t get off to the best starts for the visiting Athenians as they fell behind early 6-0, but a jolt came near the end of the opening quarter and Crawfordsville led 9-8. A small run gave CHS some breathing room as they took a 25-16 lead into the locker room.

In the second half, the Charger deficit remained mostly at 5-7 points with no team gaining any real momentum. Free-throws late helped Crawfordsville put the game away as the Athenians for their ninth straight time defeated their county rival.

“That first quarter was tough on us,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “We were just missing shots but were still playing good defense. I thought in the third quarter was the moment for one of the first times this season I saw just go out and play basketball. We did a very good job rebounding off their misses tonight and overall I was proud of them especially after having a bad week of practice. We challenged them and they responded tonight.”

Drake Burris led CHS with 15 points in the win. Tyson Fuller scored eight with Cale Coursey finishing with seven. Alec Saidian added six, Ethan McLemore five, and Kaiden Underwood rounded out the scoring for the Athenians with four.

Coursey made his return to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games with an ankle injury. Still not at 100% Coursey went out and gave his team the leadership they needed while still playing good defense most of the game.

“He played hurt but sucked it up and we appreciate that,” Pierce said of his senior. “We needed that as we’re still growing as a team. Drake Burris scored well while Ethan and Tyson both played solid then you throw Alec in as a sophomore, we’re still learning on the fly and will hopefully continue to get better.”

The Chargers were led in scoring by Sophomore Kelby Harwood who scored 14 points. Jarrod Kirsch added in 12 with Ross Dyson scoring seven. Colton Zachary, Nat McCoy and Drew Norman all ended with two for the Charges in the loss.

North Montgomery was getting good looks for most of the night but just was un-able for find the bottom of the net. For the game they shot 2-16 (12.5%) from three and just 16-48 (33%) from the field. Charger coach Chad Arnold knows that offensive performance just has to improve moving forward.

“Shooting 16-48 isn’t going to get done most night,” he said. “Especially when you shoot 2-16 from three. We had shots and layups in the lane all night that we just have to make. I thought our defense was very good in the second half, just have to put the ball in the basket better.”

The loss for the Chargers sees their record fall to 1-4 (0-2 SAC). They’ll return to action on Saturday night when they travel to a very tough place to play when they take on the Covington Trojans. That will be followed by joining the girls at the Delphi Tournament at Rossville on Monday for at least three game next week.

“There’s some very winnable games for us coming up,” Arnold said. “We’re getting better and I think our kids believe that. We just can’t take as many bad shots and have to make the ones we normally do.”

Crawfordsville gets back to .500 with the win as they improve to 3-3 (1-1 SAC) on the year. They will also be back on the road Saturday when they travel to Seeger. CHS will wrap up their 2022 schedule when they host Speedway next Tuesday.


Score by Quarter

CHS 9 16 8 12 - 45

NM 8 8 12 11 - 39

Crawfordsville 3-3 (1-1 SAC) FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Cale Coursey 3-9 0-0 7, Drake Burris 4-11 7-10 15, Ethan McLemore 2-8 1-2 5, Tyson Fuller 2-3 3-5 8, Kaiden Underwood 1-1 2-2 4, Alec Saidian 3-9 0-2 6; Totals 15-39 13-21 45

North Montgomery 1-4 (0-2 SAC): Jarrod Kirsch 4-14 2-2 Colton Zachary 0-2 2-2 2, Ross Dyson 3-7 2-2 7, Kelby Harwood 7-19 0-1 14, Nate McCoy 1-2 0-0 2, Drew Norman 1-1 0-0 2, Paul Leuking 0-2 0-0; Totals 16-48 6-7 39

3-Point Shooting: CHS 2-7 (Fuller, Coursey); NM 2-16 (Kirsch 2)

Rebounds: CHS 35 (McLemore 9, Saidian 8, Fuller 7, Coursey 6); NM 24 (Harwood 6)

Turnovers: CHS 8, NM 7

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