Thursday night’s win for Crawfordsville was more than a decade in the making.
The Athenians stopped a 20-game losing streak to Western Boone in girls’ basketball with a 40-25 thumping of the Stars in the opening round of the Sugar Creek Classic.
Olivia Reed celebrated her 17th birthday by pouring in a game-high 20 points to lead the Athenians (1-2), who never trailed in their first win of the season.
“The birthday girl, she was great,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said of his junior guard. “When she’s aggressive, but also under control that’s when she can become the player that we see in her.”
Reed knocked down a pair of first quarter 3-pointers to give the Athenians a 13-4 advantage. Crawfordsville led Western Boone (0-5) 22-10 at the half on 50% shooting (9-of-18).
“Our grading scale, we will have to look at it, but a lot of As and Bs in there,” Smith said. “That’s the key for us. Wanting to spread the ball around and not rely on one or two girls and take the open shot within the offense and I think we did that.”
Jayda Roach added eight points in her first varsity start, including six in the first half.
Leading 24-14 early in the third quarter, the Athenians went on an 8-0 run to close the period and Reed added two more buckets early in the fourth to blow the lead open at 36-14.
Western Boone turned to its bench for a quick 9-0 run, but Crawfordsville held the Stars to just one field goal in the final 3:36 of play.
A total of eight Stars found the scoring column, led by Lili Jones’ seven points off the bench. Shea Williamson chipped in five for the Athenians.
Crawfordsville advances to the Sugar Creek Classic championship for just the second time since 2014, and is in search of their first tourney title since 2008. The Athenians await the North Montgomery and Southmont winner, who will play tonight at Southmont. The championship game will be at Southmont on Saturday at 7 p.m.
“Whoever it’ll be, it’s a county game. We know it’s going to be a physical game,” Smith said. “And hopefully this will help our belief moving forward. We are thrilled to be in the championship game of this. It’s been a long time for anyone to knock out WeBo. So we are ecstatic.”
This year will mark the first time Western Boone failed to win the Sugar Creek Classic since Crawfordsville’s title in 2008 and only the second time in 14 years of the tournament. It’s also the first loss for the Stars to a Montgomery County team since North Montgomery beat them in the sectional in 2011. Western Boone had beaten a Montgomery County team 49-straight times before Thursday night.