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Bowles' steal, FT's sink Pirates, 53-49


February 23, 2011
What started out to be a runaway for the Crawford County boys' basketball team turned into a fourth-quarter barn-burner against visiting Charlestown last Tuesday night. Four big plays by the Wolfpack in the final seconds became the determining factor as Crawford County came away with a 53-49 win.

"It's the kind of game you need this time of year," Crawford County coach Mike Brown said. "You need all these games you can get that test you to the limit. We played a very good basketball team that obviously has won a lot of games. They have some big road wins, and they threw a lot of things at us, and we had a lot of ups and downs in this game, like a sectional game."

NEWKIRK
shadow
Crawford County’s Jordan Newkirk gets this baseline jumper to go in over Charlestown’s Tim Hall (44) and Kendall Thompson to give the Wolfpack a two-point edge with just seconds left. Photo by Wade Bell
Crawford County began the night with an 8-0 lead, with all of those points coming in the paint from Parker Hudson and Jordan Newkirk. The Pirates finished the period with a 10-0 run, however, and took a 15-10 lead after one quarter.

Steven Coyne scored first in the second period to give Charlestown a 17-10 advantage. Crawford County roared back with a 12-0 blast, with Hudson getting half of those, as the Wolfpack went back in front, 24-17.

Charlestown closed to within three, but Eric Harned buried a three-ball and Newkirk finished the half with a pair from the charity stripe, as Crawford County went to the locker room with a 31-23 lead.

One thing allowing Charlestown to stay in the game was Crawford County's foul troubles. Alex Baker and Hudson had a pair each, and Newkirk got his third late in the half.

"They turned it up a little bit," Brown said. "Once they scored a couple of times down low with Parker out of there, I think they got a little bit of juice back in their legs. They get a couple of steals and layups, and we foul them. As soon as Parker went out, they put (6-7 center Tim Hall) back in. He hit two or three of them that we probably should have just let him have. Instead, we foul him, and he makes the free throws."

Baker swished a three to begin the second half and later got two more to give Crawford County a 42-27 advantage. Charlestown was undeterred, however, and bounced back with a 10-2 run to close the game to 44-37 by the end of the period.

The gap narrowed to four points early in the fourth period as Anthony Lloyd got a deuce-and-one. The Pirates continued the 8-0 run to grab a 47-44 lead, forcing Crawford County to call a time-out with 3:35 to go in the game.

Baker got a deuce after the break, but both teams came up dry for the next two minutes. Following a Crawford County time-out after a Charlestown turnover, Baker got the first of four big plays, a three to give Crawford County a 49-47 edge with 47 seconds left.

"We ran a little over-screen for Isaac and let him catch it," Brown said. "He took about one dribble of penetration, and Baker was coming in right behind him. We had not run that much at all."

Hall sank two free throws following a Newkirk foul to tie the game at 49. Crawford County called time-out again, and this time it was Newkirk with the call, driving the baseline for two points and the second big play of the series for a 51-49 Wolfpack lead.

"We work on those some in practice and hope we get a chance to use them," Brown said. "The kids did a great job of executing both those plays plus a few others we ran that we got good shots on that we didn't score."

Charlestown called time-out with four seconds left. However, Bowles became the Pirates' spoiler, stealing the inbounds pass and being fouled with two seconds left. Bowles cooly sank both free throws and secured the 53-49 win.

"Isaac is one of those guys that is too loose to feel pressure," Brown said. "Isaac plays the basketball game for fun. He enjoys himself nonstop. He does not go up there like a lot of other guys, worried about this, worried about that, I'm tired, big free throws on the line. He just goes up and shoots them. I like having him up there for that reason."

"Tonight, we saw a lot from our kids," he said. "We saw them under a lot of stress and a lot of pressure, behind to a good team where you know it's going to take big plays to win the game."

Baker led Crawford County with 19 points, including 15 on five triples, and Newkirk finished with 12. Crawford County was 18 of 43 from the field (42 percent) and 11 of 13 from the charity stripe. The Wolfpack finished with seven turnovers.

"If you went to the John Harrell site and you look at the Sectional 30, or whatever it is, we were like fourth from the bottom," Brown said. "Now going into tonight, we're second from the top and they're on top. So, we've made some strides and we've made people take some notice of us. It doesn't mean anybody has to be afraid of us, but they just have to be aware of the fact that we're in the mix."

Anthony Lloyd led Charlestown (14-3) with 15 points, and Hall had 14. The Pirates were 18 of 41 from the floor (44 percent) and 13 of 16 from the free-throw line, while committing 14 turnovers.

"It was right and left, and to their credit they answered the ones that we threw at them, and we answered the ones they threw at us," the Crawford County coach said. "Down at the end of the game, the last two or three minutes, we made some big plays on offense, some things we don't show a lot and then run at the end of games. We haven't had to run them much because we've been ahead holding the ball."

"Win or lose, tonight I think both teams came out of this a little bit better for it," he said. "A lot happened in 32 minutes, a lot that will do us both a world of good, looking at the tape, getting ready for the sectional, knowing what's in front of us. We know where we're at. We know where they are. We may see them again. Who knows?"

Photo gallery

*****

The Wolfpack (15-4, 5-0 Patoka Lake Athletic Conference) ran their winning streak to nine games Saturday night, when they won at Lanesville, 73-59.

They played at Northeast Dubois last night (Tuesday) and will end the regular season Friday night at PLAC-rival Paoli. The varsity game will tip at 7:30.

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Barbara Shaw
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