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Crawford comes up short to Charlestown

Silver Creek Sectional Final

February 24, 2010
Despite a desperate rally in the fourth quarter, the Crawford County Lady Pack saw their season come to an end last Tuesday night against Charlestown, 47-43, in the snow-delayed championship game of the Silver Creek Sectional. The free-throw line became the determining factor in the Lady Pirates win.

"We came up a little short," Crawford County coach Alan Cox said. "I give all the credit in the world to Charlestown. Tony Hall is one of the best coaches, in my opinion, in Southern Indiana, and he had his kids prepared. His kids stepped up and played the way he would have expected them to play. It was an experienced group, probably the most experienced group in this sectional."

Crawford County’s Mary Bolin, right, and Carolyn Pellman double up on Charlestown’s Amanda Miller in the second half of the Lady Pack’s sectional final loss. Photo by Wade Bell
Despite some shortfalls in field-goal shooting in the first half, Crawford County kept the game close and was down just two, 12-10, after the first period, and 20-15 at halftime. The Lady Pack were just 6 of 20 from the field in the first 16 minutes. Charlestown was 6 of 8 in the first quarter, but cooled off during the second eight minutes, hitting just 3 of 10 field goals.

Cox had scouted the Lady Pirates eight times before the sectional final, and one of his goals was to keep an up-tempo pace to throw Charlestown off balance.

"We decided we're going to ride the horse that got us to the final game and that was up-tempo and getting after people," Cox said. "Whether it was the right call or not, I don't know, but I think it helped us be aggressive offensively. Early in the game, we were a little bit timid offensively. We were a little bit out of sync. Tony gave us a little bit defensive formation than we were used to attacking in practice. We were just hesitant the first half. But the kids hung in here and every time came back."

Charlestown pushed the lead to nine in the third period, but Crawford County quickly bounced back as Ashely Forbes and Chelsea Jellison drilled three-balls to pull the Lady Pack within three, 26-23. Amanda Miller sank a free throw, but Jellison got a deuce-and-one to give Crawford County a 28-27 lead with 1:22 left in the period. Brittany Bennison and Alicia Zollman countered with four points, and Charlestown was back on top, 31-28, with one quarter left.

"It was nothing we did as a coaching staff," Cox said. "It was just our kids. They were just gutting it out. They refused to lose in that situation."

Bennison scored after a Crawford County miss early in the fourth period. That was Charlestown's only field goal of the period as the Lady Pirates then took the game to the free-throw line. Playing with four fouls, Miller was sent to the line four times, Zollman once and Jenah Sherrill once.

The Lady Pirates were 14 of 18 from the stripe in the final period and went on to hold off Crawford County for a 47-43 win and the sectional championship.

"We can't ask for any more," Cox said. "So many times up here at the sectional with young teams, they look like they're dead in the water at times, but these kids just never ever quit. They just kept coming back."

Jellison led Crawford County (10-13) with 20 points, and Forbes added 10. The Lady Pack were 15 of 41 (37 percent) from the field, just 8 of 18 from the stripe and had 14 turnovers.

"The one thing I'm most proud of they weren't satisfied," Cox said. "They weren't satisfied being in the championship game. They came up here to win. They weren't satisfied with second place and still aren't."

Miller led Charlestown with 20 points as she hit 14 of 17 free throws. The Lady Pirates hit 12 of 23 (52 percent) of their field-goal attempts (and) 23 of 34 free throws. Charlestown had 12 turnovers.

"She's their bread and butter," Cox said of Miller. "She's hard to handle, and we knew she wasn't going to miss her free throws. She controls everything that they do, and she's good at it. She doesn't always look real flashy. Sometimes you go to a game and watch her play and you may not even notice her, but in the fourth quarter, she's going to step up for you."

"I couldn't be more proud of my kids, and our seniors," he said. "Although we're not a very vocal bunch, they were great leaders this year by example, and I'm sorry for them. … One of the good things this team had going for them was they had good team chemistry. They liked each other, and that's what makes it fun."

Photo gallery

All-Sectional Team

Brittany Bennison-Charlestown

Alicia Zollman-Charlestown

Amanda Miller-Charlestown

Ashley Forbes-Crawford Co.

Kayla Toney-Crawford Co.

Chelsea Jellison-Crawford Co.

Heather Uhl-Corydon

Jenna Keinsley-Corydon

Brianne Fults-Mitchell

Diedre Book-North Harrison

Barbi Richardson-Salem

Alex Tinsley-Silver Creek

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