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Crawford succumbs to No. 3 Southridge

March 04, 2009
One bad quarter was the difference for the Crawford County boys' basketball team Feb. 19 as the Wolfpack fell in their last home game of the regular season, losing to Class 2A No. 3 Southridge, 69-55.

Crawford County's Jordan Newkirk, left, makes an effort to steal the ball from Southridge's Broc Roesner in the first half of the Wolfpack's 69-55 loss to the Raiders. (Photo by Wade Bell)
"For 28 minutes, we played right with them," Crawford County coach Mike Brown said. "If you give a team that's that good a four-minute stretch where you get nothing done, and you put up no resistance, for them the game's going to be over, because they're going to get up-temp and they're going to sweat it out. They've got ball handlers at every position, including their big kids. They've got everything."

Crawford County, however, showed it had plenty of weapons to work with, as well. The Raiders grabbed a quick seven-point lead, but early in the second quarter, Daniel Allen buried a 3 and Ryan Griffith worked the board for a tip-in and scored again moments later to close the gap to three.

By the time the smoke cleared after the first 16 minutes, the two teams were locked up at 28.

"They've got two outstanding guards that can shoot, dribble, pass," Brown said. "They've got athletic kids inside who can also shoot, pass and dribble. When you get a kid like that younger (Broc) Roesner, who can step out at 6-5 and handle the ball against pressure, while your guards make cuts, that's hard to defend."

Griffith and Allen kept Crawford County close early in the third quarter, drilling 3-pointers to keep the Wolfpack within two.

However, things then came apart as the Raiders launched a 12-0 offensive to lead, 51-37, at the end of the quarter.

Both teams were even in the fourth period, leading to the 69-55 win for the Raiders.

"It was easier for us, when we were tied, up two, down two, because now we can sit back and sag and make them come to us," Brown said.

"The minute they get up nine or 10, then you've got to go to them. When you do that, they're going to cut you to death."

Allen led Crawford County with 18 points, and Griffith finished with 16. The Wolfpack were 18 of 40 (45 percent) from the field and 12 of 15 from the stripe. Crawford County had 17 turnovers, many of those in the third quarter.

"Ryan Griffith did a great job," Brown said. "They hit some big shots. They really kind of kept us in range just by hitting some big shots. Dustin Bowling is our stud here, and we've got to have him in the game and we've got to have him going full speed. The thing that has hurt him a little bit lately, when he gets in foul trouble, then he doesn't drive like he wants to, and when he should, and he doesn't defend. He tries to stay away from trouble, which usually gets you in more trouble."

Brett Roesner led Southridge with 21 points, and Kyle Hagen finished with 16. Brett Rasche added 10 for the Raiders, who connected on 25 of 45 shots from the field (55 percent) and 14 of 19 free throws. Southridge turned over the ball just six times.

"They're very good," Brown said. "Their three losses are to Princeton, who's No. 1, Evansville Memorial, who's No. 1 at the time, and Washington, there, 35-33, and they're No. 2 now. They're not looking at 17 wins or 18 wins because they're a slouch. They've beaten everybody."

Crawford will face Mitchell in the Crawford County Sectional tonight (Wednesday). The Wolfpack lost at Mitchell during the regular season.

"We'll be looking forward to that game," Brown said. "There'll be some great games to watch in that sectional, like there always are, but I think from a fan standpoint, you have to like the draw because it's going to be a lot of really good games."

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