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Wolfpack rolls over Musketeers


December 10, 2008
The Crawford County Wolfpack held off a late charge by visiting Eastern Pekin to earn a 67-56 win on a cold Saturday night.

It was a game where Crawford coach Mike Brown had some concerns because the Musketeers had two more games under their belts while Crawford had one.

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Crawford County's Jordan Newkirk came off the bench to score 12 points and had a big second half as the Wolfpack pulled out a 67-56 win over the visiting Musketeers of Eastern Pekin. (Photo by Wade Bell)
"They're playing their fourth game tonight," said Brown. "They've played Scottsburg and they've played Borden, who's a pretty good team. Last night they played West Washington. We were a little bit concerned they were so far ahead of us as far as just game time for this year because we're playing some young kids."

Crawford, however, started the game like a group of seasoned veterans, hitting 10-of-12 field-goal attempts in the first quarter. The Wolfpack took a 14-6 lead before Logan Goodwin scored to keep Eastern within six. Crawford then went on an 11-2 run to finish out the period for a 25-10 advantage.

"We were lucky again to get on them early," said Brown. "They made some runs, but we never let them get the lead."

The Musketeers got themselves back in the game with a 9-2 burst, with Trey Albertson living up to his name with a 3-ball, closing the gap to six, 27-21. Isaac Bowles later put Crawford's lead back to double digits with a deuce-and-one, but Eastern came back with an 8-2 run, George Hoskins and Michael Doebler sinking 3's as Crawford's lead shrunk to 38-34 at halftime.

One thing Crawford handled was the physicalness being played. Brown said the summer program made a big difference in that aspect.

"I thought we did better at that than we did last year," he said. "Last year we moaned and griped a lot and we got upset. In our camp games this summer, they don't call a lot of fouls. You either tough up or get run over. I think that helped us a lot."

Crawford outscored Eastern 11-2 early in the third, pushing out to a 49-36 advantage. By the end of the period, the Eastern deficit again went back to single digits as Doebler swished a 3.

That sparked a 6-0 burst early in the fourth as Crawford's lead suddenly was just three, 56-53. The Wolfpack picked up a series of quick fouls, but Eastern failed to make a conversion. Jordan Newkirk and Dustin Bowling both scored, and Kyle Roberts got an old-fashion 3 to push Crawford's lead back to 63-53. Eastern got only a single basket after that, as the Wolfpack went on for the 67-56 win.

"The advantage we have this year is we had the summer together and we spent time together," Brown said. "Now having a year's stint together we look more fluid in what we're doing and more sure of ourselves. When we run special plays, now everybody knows where to go. If we execute it correctly, it looks really good."

Bowling led Crawford (2-0) with 19 points and 11 rebounds while sophomore Newkirk finished with 12 points. Crawford shot well from the field hitting 26-of-48 field goals (54 percent) but only had 10-of-20 free throws. The Wolfpack had 16 turnovers for the game.

"I thought Jordan Newkirk played a really good first quarter," said Brown. "He got two fouls, and we would have loved to kept playing him because he was really doing some good things. He was more decisive tonight on what he wanted to do than his first game against South Central. He was big on the boards."

"Overall, I thought Ryan Griffith played a really good game," he said. "He got some big, big rebounds for us. We had some guys shuffling in and out, but he was kind of like the stabilizer most of the night."

Doebler led Eastern with 16 points, and Todd Albertson and Uriah Maudlin each finished with 10. The Musketeers hit 19-of-49 field goals (38 percent) and 10-of-14 free throws. Eastern had 17 turnovers.

Brown said being able to go 10 deep on his bench will make a big difference in tough games down the road.

"We can play those guys without even batting an eye," said the Crawford coach. "If we get in foul trouble, we're going to stick somebody in there."

At 2-0, Brown said his team still has come catching up to do but likes what he's seeing in the early going.

"I think we've got kids that really are listening to what we want to do," he said. "They're playing hard. They're helping each other out. Our older kids have really stepped up and helped these younger guys in practice and on the court, and I think that's helped us fall into things a little better."

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