February 12, 2020Crawford County girls' basketball coach Chris Broughton wanted to do two things Friday night in the Lady Pack's sectional semi-final against Clarksville: play as many people as he could but make sure he got his team into the championship round. He did just that with a 38-19 win, but the Lady Pack collected a lot of bruises for their efforts.
"It was a physical game," Broughton said after the win. "We didn't have any rhythm because we kept subbing and had a lot of different kids in the game. We understood that the most important thing tonight was getting out of here with a win. That's all we really cared about. We were able to get some kids some rest. That's important going into tomorrow because I know tomorrow's game (against Eastern Pekin) is going to be physical also."
Crawford County's Gabi Gaines picks Grace Ingeheart's pocket in the Lady Pack's semi-final game against Clarksville. Photo by Wade Bell
Crawford County got off to a good start outscoring the Lady Generals 12-2 in the first period with Sarah Stutzman and Lexie Fraime drilling three-balls in the run. Clarksville managed just a single field goal in 10 attempts, that one coming from Jasmine Walker early in the period.
The Lady Generals made a slight gain in the second period as Crawford County hit just three of its 10 field-goal attempts. The Lady Pack defense held Clarksville to just three shots from the field with two of those finding their way through the hoop, but Crawford County took an 18-6 lead to the locker room at halftime.
"This is a hard game for the kids to get up for," Broughton said. "We were heavy favorites and knowing what could happen tomorrow night. Now, we have a rematch with Pekin. I understand as a high school kid this is a hard game to get up for."
Treasure Nickelson scored the first six points of the third period, increasing Crawford County's lead to 18, 24-6. Clarksville managed just two points in the eight minutes with the Lady Pack taking a 20-point lead. Broughton managed to get senior Leann Schwartz into the game for a few seconds, bringing an uproar of approval from Crawford County fans. (Schwartz had missed the last two years with a knee injury.) The Lady Generals just weren't able to regain any ground, and Crawford County went on to win by a 38-19 margin.
"That's something we wanted to do for her (Schwartz)," said the Crawford County coach. "We knew we weren't going to be able to get her in to score anything. I told her before she went in, I said, 'Leann, this game has been so physical, do not put yourself in a spot at all.' I kind of talked to the referees and said, 'Here's what we're going to do. If we get the ball back, we're either going to try to foul or take a timeout or something to get her out. It was just a special moment for her, and I'm glad we were able to do that."
Nickelson led the Lady Pack with 12 points for the night. Crawford County was 11 of 39 from the field (28%) and 14 of 21 from the charity stripe. The Lady Pack finished with 23 turnovers in the 32 minutes.
Walker led Clarksville with nine points. The Lady Generals hit 7 of 26 shots from the field (27%) and only 4 of 14 free throws. Clarksville had 26 turrnovers for the game.
"It was a big game for them," Broughton said. "Give them credit. They've really improved as the year has went on. You just can't say enough about what Coach Shelby Miller Gliebe has been able to do with that group of kids. They played hard. They're physical. They couldn't handle our pressure but, when they got the ball in the half-court situation, they were getting the ball to Walker and scoring."
Broughton said the focus now was on the Lady Musketeers of Eastern (Pekin), who Crawford County edged out by a point back in November.
"It's physical man-to-man," said the Crawford County coach. "They're going to spread you out. They've got shooters in four spots on the floor, and they'll put something inside. It's going to be four-out and one-in, and that's what they've always been able to do and we haven't been able to beat them. So, why would they change.
"Tomorrow, this game is really important for us to be the aggressor, on offense especially," he said. "I think we've got to try to make them play real defense. We're going to have some turnovers, but I just think we've got to be really aggressive and take the fight to them instead of playing back on our heels. I think that's going to be important."
Clarksville 2 4 2 11 - 19
Crawford County 12 6 10 10 - 38
Clarksville - Walker 9, Perez 4, Gaines 3, Leezer 3.
Crawford County - Nickelson 12, Stutzman 8, Ashley 7, Fraime 3, Schigur 3, Herbaugh 2, Kerce 2, Wiseman 1.
3-pointers - Clarksville 1 (Leezer 1); Crawford County 2 (Fraime 1, Stutzman 1).