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Crawford slips to Dragons in double OT

Brown upset with CC fan support

December 24, 2008
Crawford County boys' basketball coach Mike Brown was upset following the Wolfpack's double-overtime loss to visiting Silver Creek. He wasn't upset with his players. They had just spilled their guts all over the Ron Ferguson Gymnasium floor in an effort to beat the Dragons. Instead, Brown was upset about the lack of crowd support his team got during the 75-71 loss.

"I'm upset that in double overtime we hit a three to tie it and I look across the floor and we've got people sitting down on their rear ends," Brown said after the game. "I'm not real thrilled with that. Whether you like me or how I coach makes no difference. These are the kids that have grown up in Milltown, Leavenworth, English (and Marengo) and they deserve to be cheered. When we're in a game like that and we're making big plays and the opposing crowd is louder than ours, that's ridiculous. That's absolutely ridiculous.

Crawford County's Jonathon Bowles, center, finds it a bit difficult to go between Silver Creek's Will McCall, left, and Nick Townsend during the Wolfpack's double-overtime loss to the Dragons. (Photo by Wade Bell)
"It's not the way I remember playing against Crawford County (when Brown coached Paoli). I was always worried about the crowd. You don't have to worry about our crowd. They're going to come in, have a cup of coffee and eat some popcorn, sit and yak about Christmas while we're working our rear ends off out there on the floor. It's ridiculous and it needs to change."

Silver Creek's student section tried to get into the Crawford players' heads before the game by counting their missed warm-up shots out loud, but it was the Dragons who suffered shooting woes, missing seven of their first 10 shots as Crawford took a 15-6 lead in the first quarter.

The Dragons found their range in the second quarter, hitting six of their first seven shots in a 13-4 run to close to within 21-19. Alex Baker swished a deuce and Daniel Allen made a pair of threes in an 8-0 Crawford burst, pushing the Wolfpack's lead to 29-19. Silver Creek, however, responded from downtown as Cody Jackson and Spencer Robinson got threes to pull the Dragons within four, 29-25, at halftime.

"Our kids have followed a game plan that we have set out for them to start the game to a tee," Brown said. "We've got off to good starts in all five our games. At Mitchell we started off like a ball of fire. What we have trouble with as a young team is when older teams adjust and start to do things differently and find ways to hurry us up."

Jonathon Bowles scored to begin the second half, but the Dragons countered with an 11-0 run for a 36-31 lead. Crawford kept its composure, however, and bounced back as Isaac Bowles sank a three-ball and Ryan Griffith scored inside as Crawford took the lead, 37-36, after three quarters.

The Wolfpack pushed their lead to eight, 51-43, midway through the fourth quarter with some dominating board work, as Jonathon Bowles, Jordan Newkirk and Dustin Bowling all scored inside against the Dragons' 6-7 Nick Townsend.

Silver Creek finally found a gear for a 7-0 run, pulling within one. With the game tied at 52, Jonathon Bowles and Allen put in free throws for a 55-52 Wolfpack lead, but Robinson fired in a three with four seconds left to send the game into overtime.

"Our philosophy on that is, we know our center is not going to be as big as most centers, but we also know that our three and our four are going to be bigger than most teams' three and four," Brown said. "If we can take the big guy off the boards and occupy him, we can let our other guys go rebound. They're doing a great job."

Silver Creek gained a three-point edge during the first extra four minutes, but free throws by Bowling and Jonathon Bowles sent the game into a second extra session.

With 3:07 left, Robinson sank a pair from the stripe, then Will McCall scored in the paint to give the Dragons a 67-63 lead. Bowling answered with a three, but McCall followed with a bucket in the paint.

Jonathon Bowles got an old-fashioned three to tie the game at 69, but Silver Creek answered with six straight. Andrew Curl answered a deuce for Crawford, but it wasn't enough as the Wolfpack fell, 75-71.

"We had nobody out there who wasn't completely drained from playing," Brown said. "We got everything out of them we could."

"We're trying to get across to them that we can do some really special things," he said. "We've got enough talent. We need more experience and we need things right now to fall our way, but if we keep putting the effort in we did tonight and every day in practice, that will happen."

Five Crawford players scored in double figures, with Bowling leading the way with 19. Newkirk finished with 13 points, and Isaac Bowles, Allen and Jonathon Bowles each followed with 11. The Wolfpack (2-3) connected on 24 of 50 field goals (48 percent) and 13 of 21 free throws. Crawford committed 18 turnovers.

"I had to get on a couple of them tonight because we let things go by, but by and large, we are attacking the glass and we're getting all the scraps," Brown said. "If you do that, then you're going to get teams in foul trouble, which we did tonight. It took us a long time, but we finally got them in foul trouble and were able to get on the free-throw line."

Robinson led the Dragons with 26 points, and Michael Bradley finished with 14. Townsend was held to 12 points, and McCall added 11. Silver Creek was 26 of 49 (53 percent) from the field and 17 of 22 from the stripe. The Dragons made just 12 turnovers.

"I'm really, really proud of our kids tonight. I thought they played well. Silver Creek is a very good basketball team. We did about all we could," Brown said.

"It's a step up in our ability to compete with a really good team," he said. "A loss is a loss, and it's the same to me. We had chances to win and we didn't, so we're disappointed about it. Will we wake up in the morning and feel good about some things we did? Certainly. The bottom line is, you play the game to win and we wanted to win."

As for getting the crowd more involved in the game, Brown made a suggestion.

"If we don't get it, then what we'll just do is stand up here some night when we're playing one of those close ones and take a snapshot of everybody that is standing up, and when we win a sectional those people will be first in line to get regional tickets and everybody else can wait outside in the cold," Brown said. "That's exactly how I feel about that. There's no excuse for it."

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Crawford County (2-4) suffered another overtime defeat, 65-64, at Northeast Dubois Saturday night.

The Wolfpack won't play again until they host Forest Park on Saturday, Jan. 3.

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