The Crawfordsville girls’ basketball team hosted Lebanon as part of a boy/girl doubleheader on Friday night. The Tigers grabbed the lead early and never trailed throughout the contest, pulling away to a 54-21 victory over the Athenians.
“We knew coming in that they had us in size,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said. “We knew it was going to be a challenge as far as boxing out and rebounding the ball.”
Lebanon opened the contest on a 12-0 run, most of which came from the Tigers’ Alexandria Barr. Crawfordsville got into the scoring column on a Taylor Abston bucket. Abston then drilled a three from deep, pushing the score to 12-5 with 3:00 remaining in the first quarter. Lebanon clamped down though, and ended the first up 15-5 over Crawfordsville. The Tigers forced multiple Athenian turnovers and nabbed plenty of rebounds along the way.
“That’s huge, when you’re playing a solid conference team and you give up extra possessions,” Smith said. “That’s demoralizing, having a defensive stand and giving up another possession. That’s tough to deal with.”
Lebanon continued the second quarter right where it left off. The Tigers played gritty, aggressive, and defensive. Crawfordsville played solid on its defensive side, but had no answers on offense. At halftime, Lebanon held a 22-9 lead.
“I thought we did good, for the most part, collapsing on their post-up players,” Smith said. “The big thing for us, no matter who we’re playing, we’ve got to continue to learn to make the easier pass. We try to force too much. Sometimes the press break is there, but we force into double coverage […]. That’s a continual process that we absolutely have to improve on, especially against good teams. They’re going to bring pressure every time until we learn to fix it.”
CHS opened up the second half quickly on an Elyse Widmer basket, but Lebanon answered with a 6-0 run right after. The Tigers developed offensive rhythm, and steadily pulled away throughout the quarter. The scoreboard read 41-13 at the end of the third.
“Some of our girls off the bench came in, hustled, and played well,” Smith said. “Taylor [Abston] was scoring and had a good game. We were hoping to be more competitive in this one, but we’re looking forward to a winnable game tomorrow night. Games like this prepare you for that.”
Lebanon brought its momentum into the fourth quarter, posting an 8-0 run in the first four minutes of the period. The Tigers stifled the Athenians for the remainder of the game. Lebanon cruised to a 54-21 win over Crawfordsville. Barr had a monster scoring night for the Tigers, leading all scorers with 19, including three makes from behind the arc. Abston led the Athenians with nine points in the contest.
“We’ve had a really tough portion of our schedule lately, and I tell our girls that these have been opportunities to get better,” Smith said. “Use these games to the best of your ability. We hope that the effort is there tomorrow, it’s a game that’s incredibly winnable in the schedule, and we’ve got to be incredibly hungry to go out and get it.”
Crawfordsville (2-8, 1-3 SAC) takes on Attica (2-3) in a home matchup Saturday night in another girl/boy double-header beginning at 6 pm.
Athenians fall to physical Tigers squad
The Crawfordsville boys’ basketball team took on Lebanon in the conference opener for both teams Friday. The Tigers used an efficient night on both ends of the floor to separate from the Athenians and grab a 53-36 win.
“I just felt like Lebanon was a little quicker and stronger than we were,” Cville coach David Pierce said. “We ran so many different things that our guys did not execute on. Simple things. For a lot of them, that’s their first big conference varsity game outside of Cale (Coursey). There was a little bit of ‘deer in headlights’ all night. We didn’t execute plays very well. We have to execute and get better. I felt like Lebanon’s physicality took us out of the game.”
The first quarter was extremely defensive between the two teams. Lebanon scored first after two minutes of no points on a Korbyn Slogett lay in. Coursey posted the first points for Crawfordsville soon after. With 2:07 remaining in the first, the scoreboard read 6-5 in favor of the Tigers. Lebanon did find a groove in the final moments of the quarter, scoring five straight to end the period up 11-5.
The second quarter saw the Tigers up the ante. Lebanon allowed Crawfordsville to score just four points throughout the quarter, forcing multiple turnovers, contested shots, and tough possessions for the Athenians. With 3:16 remaining in the second, the Tigers led 16-9. The Athenians did not score for the rest of the quarter. At halftime, Lebanon led Crawfordsville 24-9.
“I felt like Cale (Coursey), at moments, was the only guy that could get by his man,” Pierce said. “With their physicality, it was difficult to get into the paint.”
Crawfordsville did come into the second half with a better flow on both sides of the ball, and the halftime adjustments seemed to be working. The Athenians clawed their way back into the game, and with 2:42 remaining in the third, brought the deficit back to single digits, 31-23, after a Coursey bucket. Lebanon called a timeout to try and slow the momentum. The break in action worked. In the final two minutes and change, the Tigers went on a 13-5 run to take complete control of the game. At the end of the third, Lebanon led Crawfordsville 44-28.
“We made some adjustments, got some buckets, got back into the game a little bit,” Pierce said. “But they just exposed a lot of things we have to get better at, which allows us to get into film sessions and really start to get better. The one thing we’ve really got to eliminate is turnovers; we had 24 last game and 20 this game. There are a lot of things we can try and execute or draw up as coaches, but if we have 20-plus turnovers, we will struggle.”
The Tigers never let go of the momentum for the remainder of the contest. And in the first conference action of the season, Lebanon secured a big away win 53-36 over Crawfordsville. The Tigers were led in scoring by Jake Burns, who dropped 14 with multiple big shots from three. Coursey was the only Athenian in double digits, scoring 14 from the field.
“Tomorrow, we bounce back against Attica,” Pierce said. “Our goal will be 10 or less turnovers. Our schedule does nothing but get tougher and tougher. “Our young guys have got to learn and they’ll get better. They’re good kids, they work hard. We’ll get back in the gym and get better. Our guys are super coachable and competitive. It’s going to come down to how quick we can pick up on things. Right now, it’s a mental problem. My expectation is that we will get better, it’ll just be a question of how quick. The quicker we get better and make smarter plays, the quicker we will have more fun.”
CHS (1-2, 0-1 SAC) will host Attica after the conclusion of the girls game on Saturday.