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Rebounding woes cost Athenians vs Wolves

Crawfordsville girls basketball's lack of size has caused some issues in the past. Thursday against Parke Heritage that lack of size reared its head once again as the Wolves snagged 17 offensive rebounds on their way to a 53-42 win over the Athenians.

Crawfordsville came out with an early 9-5 lead over the Wolves, but a 12-0 run gave Parke Heritage a 17-9 lead and they never looked back.

“It’s been our Achilles heel sometimes,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said of his team and their lack of size. “We know its a challenge being undersized, but we just have to more physical. They were some that just didn’t fall our way, but they were also plenty that were in reach. If we secure some of those boards, it could’ve been a different game.”

Shea Williamson continues to be the catalyst for the Athenians as she led all scorers with 23 points and added ten rebounds to go along with four steals, and four assists. Olivia Reed added six while Elyse Widmer, Kearston Hutchens, and Liddy McCarty all had four. Taylor Abston added a point from the foul line.

“She’s been awesome all year, and tonight was no exception,” Smith said of Williamson. “She plays the game the right way and makes smart plays. I thought the rest of the girls had great looks and we feel like if we had them again, they’d go down. We like to play with a balanced attack but Shea continues our leader in every way for us.”

Parke Heritage had four girls in double figures as Emma Simpson and Hannah O’Brien each had 12. O’Brien also added 11 rebounds. Grace Ramsay scored 11 in the win and Kristen Wood scored ten while leading the team with 12 rebounds. As versatile as the Wolves were on the night, they constantly were able to keep the Athenians on the heels all night long on defense.

“I tell our girls all the time that defense is hard,” Smith said. “Even when you have a good plan in place, it’s hard to bring 32 minutes of complete effort on that side of the ball. They (Parke Heritage) are a really good team and with some pretty big games coming up, we have to understand that we have to buy in and mentally and physically prepare for whatever is thrown at us.”

Another issue for Crawfordsville (3-7, 0-3 SAC) was the issues from the free-throw line. The Athenians were able to get the Wolves into foul trouble pretty early in the first half, but couldn’t capitalize from the line where they went 10-21 for the game.

“Those are the kind of things that really start to add up and games can be won or lost that way,” Smith said. “On one hand it’s unfortunate that we came up short, but on the other, we feel like if we correct a few of these small things like free-throws and rebounding we would be in good shape.”

Crawfordsville will now have a week to prepare for a county rivalry game with North Montgomery next Friday in what will be a girl/boy double-header at CHS.

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