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Wolfpack devour Senators, 59-35

February 16, 2011
The Crawford County Wolfpack got a step closer to the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference crown Thursday night when they squashed visiting West Washington 59-35. The win kept Crawford County's record spotless, at 5-0, in the league with a road trip left at Paoli at the end of the regular season.

"On our practice schedule down there, it has a ball with a banner in the middle of it that says 'Conference Champs.' " Crawford County coach Mike Brown said. "On one side, it says 'West Washington 2-10,' and on the other side it says 'Paoli 2-25.' Those are the dates we play those games, so we've been talking about it all week."

"When you're 4-0 late in the conference season, every game is the championship," he said. "We knew they were 3-0. We knew this was a huge game and somebody was going to come out of here with a chance to tie, if nothing else."

Alex Baker launched the Wolfpack toward a 9-2 lead, scoring seven of those. Parker Hudson added a pair, and Jordan Newkirk punched in a six-footer for an 11-6 lead after one quarter.

Eric Harned got a deuce to start the second period, but Kendal Rosenbaum and Trevor Nice countered to cut the Senator deficit to three. The Wolfpack then exploded with a 14-2 run, pushing their advantage to 27-14. Crawford County finished the half with four freebies to West Washington's pair of singles, and the Wolfpack breathed easy with a 31-16 lead at halftime.

"It started on the defensive end," Brown said. "I thought we did a great job of keeping the ball out of the post. We did a good job getting hands up on three-point shooters. We got the ball off the board and ran our break and scored and got fouled, which kind of dictated the pace. We wanted to go up and down the floor. I thought we had them fatigued a couple of times in the first half. At some other times, when we had them fatigued, we made some hay. We did some good things."

The Wolfpack began the third period with a 9-2 run, to lead 40-18. Time of possession was also going to Crawford County, which worked the perimeter with patience, waiting for the good shot to come to them. By the end of the period, the Wolfpack had built a 44-23 lead with just four turnovers in 24 minutes.

Crawford County did turn the ball over three times in the fourth, but maintained that same ball control while looking for the best shot, going on for the 59-35 win.

"The biggest thing that I think is we moved the ball very well," Brown said. "We're becoming a little harder to guard because different guys are stepping up now and hitting their shots. It's fun to play that way. We spread it around a lot and most of the shots we got were good ones."

Baker and Newkirk led the Crawford County scoring with 17 points each, and Isaac Bowles followed with 11. The Wolfpack (13-4) nailed down 21 of 42 field goals (50 percent) and 13 of 18 free throws. Crawford County had just seven turnovers for 32 minutes.

Brown said his two guards, Baker and Bowles, have become so proficient at reading the floor that it's made coaching easier.

"Baker and Isaac did a great job of calling out the fact they'd changed defenses and switched to something without me doing it," the Crawford County coach said. "Those are good things. We've worked on things so much now we've seen about everything. Hopefully, your guys recognize that and are vocal enough to pass it on to everybody. They're doing a great job of it."

Clayton Sullivan led West Washington (11-5, 3-1 PLAC) with 17 points. The Senators connected on 11 of 29 field goals (38 percent) and 11 of 14 free throws. West Washington erred 19 times for turnovers.

Crawford County has tough games against Charlestown, Northeast Dubois and Lanesville before its last conference game at Paoli. Brown said while Paoli has struggled this season his team will not take the Rams lightly on their own turf.

"You respect everybody, you fear no one," he said. "That's kind of our motto. We didn't win the conference tonight. We played for the championship against a team we had to beat. Now, we have another one we have to beat.

"We're going on the road up there, a tough place to play. They have nothing to lose. It is every bit a trap game.

"But the bottom line is, if we beat them up there, we take a picture on their floor. That's not to rub it in, but we're going to take a conference champ picture if we win just like we would expect somebody to do it here. So, it is for all the marbles this time."

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