Crawfordsville turned a four-point halftime advantage into nine-point lead after three quarters — cruising to a 78-66 Sagamore Conference win over Tri-West.
Jesse Hall scored a career-high 34 points, helping the Athenians to a 20-of-21 effort from the free throw line with a 14-of-15 night of his own.
“Huge team effort,” Crawfordsville boys’ basketball coach David Pierce said. “I thought Jesse, that’s a couple games in a row where Jesse was going to just try and push himself and he did that tonight.”
Leading 35-31 at the half, Hall scored 10 points in the third quarter to put Crawfordsville up 52-43. The Athenians extended it to 45-35 with 4:37 left in the third quarter, but the Bruins responded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Ethan Depinet and Mason Loviscek to cut it to 45-41. Pierce called a timeout, and the Athenians shut the door with a 7-2 run to close the quarter. A Hall 3-pointer made it 57-45 with 6:02 left and the Bruins never cut it to single digits again.
Crawfordsville was a perfect 17-of-17 from the foul line in the second half. Couple that with holding Tri-West leading scorer Alex Covey to four second half points afer a 13-point effort in the first 16 minutes — and it was an easy route to a 6-0 mark in the SAC.
“We used Mekhi (Wallace) and Nate (Schroeter) to keep in front of Covey and make him go left, that was their sole job,” Pierce said. “And in the second half we finally did a better job of that. Jesse had five blocks and usually doesn’t get that because he’s usually guarding their best post player. So using Jesse as a shot blocker paid off.”
Depinet led the Bruins with 18 on three made 3-pointers to go along with 17 from Covey and Loviscek.
Ty Lynas chipped in 13 for the Athenians, including 11 in the first half and had five assists. Ian Hensley was the do-it-all man, scoring 12 points and recording a double-double with rebounds to go along with five steals all while running the point on offense.
“I thought Ian Hensley was the bright spot,” Pierce said. “He ended up with a double-double and five steals. That was huge for us. To have a six-foot-five guy who is the smartest guy on the team not only basketball IQ, but just smart. He knows what the defense is doing, he knows what we are doing, and he pays attention to the scouting report better than anyone else and that’s why we put the ball in his hands.”
Crawfordsville will go for its second Sagamore Conference championship in three years, and their first outright title since 1973 when they travel to Danville next Friday.
Tri-West entertains Brebeuf Jesuit tonight.
Crawfordsville 78, Tri-West 66
CHS 18 17 17 26 — 78
TW 16 15 12 13 — 66
CRAWFORDSVILLE (11-3 6-0 SAC): Ty Lynas 6-9 0-0 13, Alex Kellerman 4-8 0-0 9, Ian Hensley 4-7 2-2 12, Ziair Morgan 0-0 4-4 4, Jesse Hall 9-14 14-15 34, Cale Coursey 0-1 0-0 0, Nate Schroeter 1-2 0-0 2, Mekhi Wallace 2-6 0-0 4; Totals 26-47 20-21 78.
TRI-WEST (6-7, 3-2 SAC): Garrett Cora 0-1 0-0 0, Mason Loviscek 6-12 4-4 17, Chase Golden 0-3 0-0 0, Dylan Bear 1-1 0-2 2, Ethan Depinet 4-9 7-9 18, Nicolas Smith 5-7 0-2 12, Alex Covey 7-13 3-5 17; Totals 23-46 14-22 66.
3-Point Shooting: CHS 6-18 (Hensley 2, Hall 2, Lynas, Kellerman), TW 6-12 (Depinet 3, Smith 2, Loviseck).
Rebounds: CHS 27, TW 18
Turnovers: CHS 17, TW 13