Crawfordsville finally did it. The Athenians put together four strong quarters and stopped a four-game skid with a 48-43 win over Riverton Parke on Thursday night.
“It feels good to put four quarters together and finish one off,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said. “because we’ve had a lot of situations where we could have put our foot on the gas to close the game.”
The difference was the third quarter. Trailing 21-18, the Athenians (3-10) outscored the Panthers (2-10) 18-7 in the period, holding Riverton Parke scoreless for over five minutes.
Olivia Reed (left) nailed a 3-pointer to start the half, and scored 10 of her game-high 16 points in the third stanza. The Athenians led 36-28 heading to the fourth.
Riverton Parke made a run behind back-to-back buckets by Macey Barnes, who led the Panthers with 13 points. The sophomore made it 38-34 with 4:18 left, before Shea Williamson scored four-straight for Crawfordsville. The junior added a pair of free throws and a blocked shot in the final 30 seconds to put the game on ice.
“She’s had a great week of practice and a great couple of games on the court,” Smith said of Williamson. “and even when her confidence is missing on the offensive end, she does everything else for us.”
Williamson had 13 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, and five steals in the win.
Riverton Parke stayed in the game by out-rebounding Crawfordsville 53-25, including 18 offensive boards — but Crawfordsville did two things well — taking care of the basketball and knocking down free throws. The Athenians were 14-of-23 from the stripe and had 11 turnovers, including just four in the second half — while forcing Riverton Parke into 27 mistakes.
“On the flip side of that we made a halftime adjustment to our defense that caused them problems, so in a close game when you can win the turnover battle, especially in the third quarter to kind of turn the game on its head, that’s what we are looking to do,” Smith said.
Taylor Abston was the third Athenian to score in double-figures. The freshman had 11 points.
“It was good to get Taylor going,” Smith said. “She’s struggled a bit lately, but we have complete confidence in her and we told her as a freshman she’s going to have ups and downs but she’s having more ups and for her to step in to have 11 points and six or so boards, that was big for her.”