February 12, 2020The Crawford County Wolfpack put up their fourth 'L' Thursday night in five games when their road trip to West Washington went into the Loss column and also in the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference race as well. The Wolfpack are still trying to find themselves after losing shooter Trevor Harvey to a broken arm a few games before.
"We're struggling on scoring right now," said Crawford County coach Jerry Hanger. "We've just struggled putting the ball in the hole. Trevor being out really hurts us on our outside shooting. Everybody is packing it in on us, making it tough for us to get a shot inside. We've got to be able to have some outside shooting the next couple of games."
Crawford County's Keith Brooks, right, and Noah Adams body up West Washington's Jake Strange in the second half of the Wolfpack's loss to the Senators.Photos by Wade Bell
The Wolfpack scored the first basket of the game, but the Senators answered with the next six. Crawford County later put itself back in front on a Colten Nickelson deuce, but that was only briefly. West Washington scored the next five, including a three-ball by Nash Huff. Noah Adams hit from behind the arc in response, but Jake Strange cashed in two free throws at the end of period to keep the Senators in the lead at 16-13.
Crawford County began to turn things around in the second quarter with Preston Coleman scoring inside to start an 8-0 run for a 21-16 advantage. West Washington scored the next four, closing the gap to one, while the Wolfpack misfired on their next six tries. Nickelson went in the paint for two, but the Senators responded with an 8-2 burst and took a 28-26 edge to the locker room at the break.
"Early, I thought our defense really let us down," Hanger said. "We worked on it all week long. It looked like we had never played a day of defense in our lives. I just wish we had played a lot better. But, West Washington has got a good team. You can't take anything away from them. I just expected us to play a lot better than what we did."
West Washington expanded its lead to eight early in the third as Huff and Parker Green hit from behind the arc. The two teams again traded paint, but Huff and Holden Bowsman knocked the bottom out of the basket from downtown for a 46-33 Senators' lead. Nickelson got three of those back the old-fashioned way with a deuce-and-one, but Green drilled a three before the buzzer and the Senators took a 49-35 lead into the fourth.
The two teams traded baskets again through the first four minutes of the final period. Nickelson hit a short jumper that started a 10-2 run and closed the gap to seven. Coleman later drilled a three, pulling Crawford County back within six, 61-55. It wasn't enough, however, as the Senators held on for the 65-58 win.
"I was a little disappointed on the way the gamed ended up," said Hanger. "West Washington has got a really good ball team, and we just came up on the short end. Our offense didn't make up for what our defense made. I was a little disappointed on how we scored. I felt like we should have a little more offense in the game."
Coleman led the Wolfpack with 22 points, and Colten Nickelson followed with 20. Crawford County was 17 of 41 from the field (41%) and 9 of 11 from the free-throw line. The Wolfpack turned the ball over 14 times.
"It was really quiet," Hanger said of Nickelson's 20 points. "I think he got most of them in the first half. I thought Preston played consistent. If you take those two guys out of the picture, we didn't get a lot out of everyone else. Noah Adams had been sick all week, so we weren't expecting a whole lot out of him. We sure thought we'd get some help out of the other guys."
West Washington put four players in double figures with Strange leading the way with 20 points. Bowsman finished with 15, and Green had 12. Huff added 11 for the Senators, who hit 14 of 36 from the field (39%) and 17 of 24 free throws. West Washington had nine turnovers for the 32 minutes of play.
Sophomore Keith Brooks and senior Zach Coleman have been trying to fill the shoes of the injured Harvey, but Hanger said he needs more people to step up.
"They're giving us some good minutes, but we need more production," said the Crawford County coach. "With Keith, we've got to have more rebounding and we've got to have some offensive punch around the bucket. Zach is doing a really nice job on defense, but we're going to have some offensive production out of him also."
Friday could be a tough night for the Wolfpack, who will travel to North Harrison for a rival game against the Cougars.
Crawford County senior Wyatt Allinger fires up a shot over West Washington's Holden Bowsman in the second half of Thursday's game at West Washington.
"It's a really tough challenge," Hanger said. "Defensively, we're struggling and we're playing against a team that really pounds the ball inside to their big people. They're really good at it. You saw tonight what West Washington was able to do to us with Strange. It could be a long night for us next Friday night, but we've got a plan in place and we're going to try to get it worked out."
Hanger said North Harrison's biggest threat will be senior Braden Jenkins.
"I think, overall, he's their best player because he posts up really hard," he said. "We can't get us into a lot of foul problems. Hatton is tall. He rebounds well, but he can shoot well. But, Jenkins is the key to their team, and how he plays is how everyone else plays."
Crawford County 13 13 9 23 - 58
West Washington 16 12 21 16 - 65
Crawford County - P. Coleman 22, Nickelson 20, Allinger 8, Adams 5, Brooks 2, Z. Coleman 1.
West Washington - Strange 20, Bowsman 15, Green 12, Huff 11, Sanford 7.
3-pointers - Crawford County 5 (P. Coleman 4, Adams 1); West Washington 6 (Huff 3, Green 2, Bowsman 1).