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Crawford broadsides Pirates, 75-53

February 25, 2009
The Crawford County Wolfpack fired their cannons against the visiting Charlestown Pirates last Tuesday night to blaze to a 75-53 win. It was one of the easiest nights the Wolfpack have had all season, something they're not quite used to.

Crawford County's Ryan Griffith puts his eye on the basket as he goes up against Charlestown's Jordan Williams in the first half. Griffith finished with 14 points in the Wolfpack's 75-53 win. (Photo by Wade Bell)
"We have not played with that kind of lead any, and at times I didn't think we handled it very well," Crawford coach Mike Brown said. "Normally, what I think you would complain about in a game like this is that your team gets too greedy. If I had a complaint about them tonight, it would be we weren't greedy enough. We didn't attack the basket enough. We overpassed some."

The Wolfpack came out smoking in the first half, hitting 7 of 10 field-goal attempts in the first quarter to take an 11-6 lead. Things were even better in the second period as Crawford connected on 10 of 13 shots for 17 of 23 for the half. The Wolfpack outscored the Pirates 29-15 during the second eight minutes for a 40-21 lead at the break.

One downside to Crawford's first-half offensive performance was a little laxness on defense midway through the second period. Brown said he did a little experimenting with a variety of defenses in the quarter to see what might work in next week's sectional.

"Now is the time of year, if you're not playing a conference game, you can experiment a little," Brown said. "We played some box-and-one the second quarter for no reason at all except we needed to see it in a game for our guys."

Crawford continued to shoot well in the third period while Charlestown connected on just 5 of 14 shots.

A 13-5 run put the Wolfpack up 53-29 until Damon Vest and Terry Crenshaw buried a pair of threes for a slight Pirate gain. Ryan Griffith and Jordan Newkirk finished the period with a 6-0 burst as the Crawford advantage ballooned to 61-35.

Charlestown had a better fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough as the Wolfpack got the 75-53 win.

"I think we were more comfortable as we went along," Brown aid. "We played a bunch of guys. We tried to sub about every three to four minutes when we got ahead. That kind of ruins your chemistry. We're happy to get a win like this anytime we can get it, because we've had a lot where we can't even breathe at the end."

Griffith led Crawford with 14 points, and Dustin Bowling followed with 12. Crawford was 30 of 45 from the field for a whopping 66 percent and 9 of 14 on 3-pointers. The Wolfpack hit 6 of 11 free throws and made just 13 turnovers.

"I think we found shots a little easier tonight than we have by moving the ball," Brown said. "When we had them, we were so surprised that we were open. That's something we'd like to get used to, winning by 20. We just haven't had enough experience being up 10. We've talked all year about how close our games are going to be, and tonight was a good indicator of that. We played well enough to score almost 80 points and win by 25, but at the same time, there were a lot of possessions we had where we looked confused."

Chad Brady led Charlestown with 18 points. The Pirates were 22 of 47 (46 percent) from the field and 4 of 14 from the stripe. Charlestown finished with 17 turnovers.

"I thought our interior guys did a pretty good job," Brown said. "We got a lot of rebounds. We wanted to limit them to one shot. We did a pretty good job of that. When teams are shooting threes and driving the lane, it's hard to get a good block-out and a soft shot to rebound. I thought for the most part we got most of the ones that we had around the foul line. We did some really good things, but we've got a ways to go. We've got to keep sticking our nose in there."

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