LAFAYETTE – Just about every substitution Crawfordsville boys basketball coach David Pierce turned to the player sitting and challenged him.
Tuesday evening Pierce was more concerned about the mental aspect in a 56-38 setback to Lafayette Central Catholic in McHale Gym.
“If we have our top six guys mentally locked in and focused along with the guys that come off the bench, we can play with anybody,” Pierce said. “But we had three guys that just weren’t there mentally. That was super disappointing because I hadn’t seen that out of those guys.”
The dare continued after the game in the locker room before the trip home.
“I challenged them after the game that anytime you have a chance to compete you’ve got to be focused and ready to give it your all no matter if you’re sick, tired, whatever.”
Through three quarters the Athenians were in the game. They led 10-7 after the first and then trailed at half 20-16 and after three 38-32.
One of the differences was the Knights ability to score in the paint. Six-foot-five junior big man Albert Schwartz took over starting in the second frame. He backed down Athenian big man Alec Saidian several times and tallied nine of his game high 18 in the quarter right next to the rim. Meanwhile, Crawfordsville only managed a pair of threes and went half the quarter without a point.
“Part of our bad shooting was their defense. It was hard to get to the rim. It was a physical game, they weren’t going to call a lot of fouls and we were hammering the crap out of them. It is what it is, but we have to learn how to adjust to that offensively. You can’t just drive and expect to get an open layup. You’re going to get pushed and probably have a shot blocker coming our way.”
There were a total 14 fouls called in the game and only 11 free throws attempted.
Crawfordsville (8-13) hit 15-of-44 from the field while Central Catholic (12-10) nailed 23-43 on senior night.
The Knights’ deep bench handled the Athenians most of the night.
“They’re fresh because they can sub so we played 2-3 zone. I thought it bothered them for a long time, like three quarters. The problem was we started to turn the ball over so we couldn’t hang with them.”
The first and third quarters were the positive parts of the contest for Pierce’s squad.
“I thought we handled the ball well. Obviously, we worked the ball a little bit there with our Shuffle Motion offense. They were patient and after three or four reverses we got a layup. I felt like CC sped us up a little bit, put some ball pressure on us full court and we had turnovers there in the third and that carried over to the fourth.”
Junior Ethan McLemore scored six of his team-high 11 to open the third quarter and gave Crawfordsville its final lead. Cale Coursey and Kaden Patton each added eight. Tyson Fuller led the rebounding with four.
Schwartz added 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.
The Athenians have a quick turnaround before closing the regular season in the old CHS gym Friday against Covington. CHS has dropped four straight and Pierce is still seeking his 150th career win.
“We have a tough game Friday. They’ve been up and down with sickness and injury, but they have everyone back. We take a lot of pride in our program over the last little over a decade about how hard we play and compete. That’s the type of performance we want to put on at the old gym so the people that come are proud of Crawfordsville.”
LAFAYETTE CENTRAL CATHOLIC 56, CRAWFORDSVILLE 38
Score by Quarter
CVL 10 6 16 6 - 38
LCC 7 13 18 18 - 56
Crawfordsville (8-13): FG-FGA FT-FTA PTS: Cale Coursey 3-11 0-0 8 Drake Burris 2-9 2-2 7 Ethan McLemore 5-9 1-1 11 Tyson Fuller 1-4 0-0 2 Ezekiel Cardenas 0-0 0-0 0 Kaden Patton 3-7 0-0 8 Kaiden Underwood 1-1 0-0 2 Alec Saidian 0-3 0-0 0 Blake Pruett 0-0 0-0 0 Totals 15-44 3-3 38
Central Catholic (12-10) Ben Mazur 2-5 0-0 5 Bobby Metzger 1-1 0-0 3 Christian Clisby 0-0 0-0 0 Nick Page 0-3 0-0 0 Ray Clayton 2-3 1-1 5 Tanner Fields 7-15 1-2 15 Bryce McCammon 1-3 2-2 4 Keaton Brooks 1-1 0-0 3 Colton Strickler 1-2 0-0 3 Albert Schwartz 8-10 2-3 18 Aiden Schaefer 0-0 0-0 0 Zack Kerr 0-0 0-0 0 Totals 23-43 6-8 56.
3-Point Shooting: Crawfordsville 5-18 (Coursey 2-5, Patton 2-6), Central Catholic 4-14 (Mazur 1-4, Strickler 1-2, Metzger 1-1, Brooks 1-1)
Rebounding: Crawfordsville 21 (Fuller 4, Saidian 3), Central Catholic 30 (Schwartz 11, McCammon 5)
Turnovers: Crawfordsville 14, Central Catholic 14