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Young Athenians see favorable sectional draw

Crawfordsville enters sectional play taking on Monrovia in the opening game of the Class 3A Sectional 25 at Danville. JOURNAL REVIEW FILE PHOTO

Crawfordsville boys basketball is a young squad this season, and that youth has shown especially as of late. Down the stretch, CHS has won just a single game in it’s eight games as the Athenians ended the regular season with mark of 8-14.

Now the slate gets wiped clean and CHS preps for a new season as on Tuesday Crawfordsville will open the Class 3A Sectional 25 at Danville when they take on Monrovia. The Bulldogs are the lone team in the sectional that the Athenians haven’t seen this season as the rest of the teams are all Sagamore Athletic Conference foes.

Monrovia ended the regular season with a 6-17 record and Cville coach David Pierce talked about playing an unfamiliar opponent when his team gets ready for the post-season on Tuesday. “We’re really excited about the draw and how it turned out for us,” he said. “However we’re a team that has to simply take it one quarter a time, because we can’t have any lapses. Monrovia shoots the three nonstop and that can make them a dangerous team. They may live by the three but they also could die by it. We have to be able to get out on their shooters. Fortunately for us we shot the ball at Danville really well when we were at their place. If we’re able to execute and take care of business like we can we should be in good shape.”

The Bulldogs average 50.8 points per game and are led in scoring by sophomore Hayden McCloud’s 12.2 points per game. Junior Jayden Jones also scored in double figures at 10.7. Both Tucker Rahn (9.3) and Clay Tharp (8.4) are also threats to score.

Crawfordsville is led by senior Cale Coursey’s 12.6 points per game. Sophomore big man Alec Saidian is second on the team with 9.1 points while grabbing 6.1 rebounds. Kaden Patton, Ethan McLemore, and Drake Burris all average 7.8 a game with Tyson Fuller scoring 7.0.

During this 1-7 stretch for CHS, they have had bright spots in a lot of their game. They led Danville 36-30 at the half, were right in the game until the final minutes against Parke Heritage, lost by two to Western Boone, and only lost by three in their regular season finale against Covington.

Pierce says the key for his young team is to sustain success for a full four quarters.

“We do a great job usually of putting two great quarters together, it comes down to putting four though,” he said. “Monrovia has seniors that don’t want to die and we know we’re going to get their best. We’ve been able to go to our bench lately and get nice production. If we can withstand 32 minutes of competitive basketball then we can do some damage.”

The winner between Crawfordsville and Monrovia will face Tri-West (11-12) who drew the bye on Friday in the semi-finals. Earlier this season the Bruins were able to escape with a 48-44 win over the Athenians. Pierce and CHS would love to be able to get redemption if they’re able to take care of business on Tuesday.

“Both teams really weren’t at full strength that night,” Pierce said of the regular season matchup. “We’d like to do what they did to us last year and that’s avenge the regular season loss in the sectional. Our side of the bracket is there for the taking if we want it.”

You can catch a live broadcast of the game on WIMC Thunder 103.9 beginning at around 5:40 with Jeff Nelson and Jared McMurry.

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