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January 08, 2020
The Crawford County Wolfpack's run during the Perry-Spencer Holiday Tournament ended on a sour note in the championship round as the Rebels of South Spencer took advantage of errors and missed opportunities by the Wolfpack to secure a 75-62 win and take home the hardware. Crawford County fought to reel in the Rebels but came up empty handed to end the tournament.

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Crawford County's Colten Nickelson, left, picks Michael Donoho's pocket in the second half and goes on for a dunk but it wasn't enough to spark the Wolfpack who suffered a 75-62 loss in the championship round of the Perry-Spencer Holiday Tournament. Photo by Wade Bell
"I don't think we had any one particular player that had a great game tonight," said Crawford County coach Jerry Hanger. "Matter of fact, I don't think any of them had a good game. We played hard, but things from the very beginning of the game didn't go well."

Crawford County started off well as Noah Adams and Preston Coleman pushed the Wolfpack to a 9-5 lead in the first quarter. The Rebels, however, finished the period with a 10-2 run and had a 15-11 edge after eight minutes. South Spencer continued that run in the second quarter, scoring the first nine points. Coleman and Colten Nickelson scored in the paint, but the Rebels finished with a 5-2 burst for a 29-17 lead at the break.

"We started off the first couple of possessions and jumped out to a lead," Hanger said. "From that point on, it was downhill. We couldn't get any combinations to work on defense. They hit all the available shots it seemed like."

Crawford County briefly pulled its deficit back into single digits to start the third quarter but the Rebels then lit up the sky with a 13-2 run, knocking down three shots from behind the arc. Nickelson tried to get the Wolfpack going with a steal and a dunk, but Crawford County made only a brief gain, down 16 with one quarter to go. The pace went into a higher gear in the fourth with a combined total of 57 points scored, but Crawford County's hole was too deep and South Spencer went on to post a 75-62 win.

"We're down 12 at halftime, and I still thought we had a real good shot at halftime," Hanger said. "It was fairly close. We couldn't muster together a run. Credit South Spencer's defense; they did a nice job of keeping us from getting a run going. We cut down the lead; they had a 20-point lead at one time and at the beginning of the fourth quarter we cut it down to seven. Then, they hit a couple of shots and that was pretty well it."

Nickelson led the Wolfpack with 15 for the game, and Adams followed with 13. Crawford County put in 19 of its 42 field goals (45%) and 16 of 20 free throws. The Wolfpack finished with 19 turnovers.

"Sometimes we are our own worst enemy," Hanger said of the turnover rate. "We have a lot of unforced turnovers. I don't know if it's a lack of concentration or overconfidence or what, but that seems to be the enigma with this team this year. ... "

Michael Donoho scored 35 for the Rebels, canning 20 of 22 from the charity stripe. The Rebels were 18 of 29 from the field (62%) and also had 19 turnovers.

"They've got a lot of quickness, and they took the quickness out of the game," Hanger said. "We got hardly any layups or fast-break layups or anything of that nature. They made it a half-court game, and their half-court game was a lot better than ours. ... "

As the second half of the season begins, Crawford County must find a way to turn the corner.

"I thought we had already turned the corner in the first two games of the tournament," said the Wolfpack coach. "I figured we'd come in here tonight and have a good ballgame. Our kids didn't quit tonight. They played hard, but we didn't have a good performance. We've got about two weeks off here and hope we can get things back together and practicing and starting the second half of the season and work our way towards the sectional."

South Spencer 15 14 19 27 - 75

Crawford County 11 6 15 30 - 62

South Spencer - Donoho 35, Johnson 9, Smith 8, Kelly 6, Howell 5, Ling 5, Bartlett 3, Hol. Compton 3, Hou. Compton 1.

Crawford County - Coleman 16, Nickelson 15, Adams 13, Allinger 9, Harvey 9.

3-pointers - South Spencer 2 (Barlett 1, Ling 1); Crawford County 6 (Adams 2, Coleman 2, Harvey 1, Nickelson 1).

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