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Crawford grounds Eagles, 58-35

February 22, 2012
The Crawford County Wolfpack kept the visiting Lanesville Eagles on the ground most of the night Saturday, blasting away early to earn a 58-35 win to improve their record to 17-3. Except for one quarter, the Eagles were never able to get any foothold.

Crawford County’s Zach Thomas draws a lot of attention from Lanesville’s Austin Brown (2) and Brandon Blackerby as he takes the ball inside. Thomas came off the bench for 11 points in Crawford County’s 58-35 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"We needed this one," Crawford County coach Mike Brown said. "We've been off nine days. … We started out like a house on fire and then slacked off a little bit. We've got the right mindset, where we know we're coming down to the end of the season. Our defense has been pretty good, and I think we just have to shore some things up now getting ready for Paoli."

Crawford County came out in a firestorm, hitting its first five shots. The Wolfpack turned the ball over just one time in the period, racing to a 16-0 lead.

Alex Ansman finally got the Eagles on the board with 45 seconds in the period. Crawford County, however, scored the next five and finished with a 21-2 lead after the first eight minutes.

"We can get down the floor in a hurry when we need to," Brown said. "Whenever we play post players, they're not as fast as ours. We try to run them down there and get an easy basket. We did a good job of that early in the game and got a lot of shots to fall. We moved the ball really well."

Lanesville did a slightly better job shooting than the Wolfpack in the second period but failed to gain any ground. Crawford County scored 10 of its 16 points in the quarter in the paint, while Lanesville put in three from behind the arc in the period, as the Wolfpack took a 37-15 advantage to the locker room at the break.

"It seemed to come pretty easy for us because everything was falling for us the first half," Brown said. "What you have to understand is, in a 32-minute game, no one ever shoots the ball well for 32 minutes. You're going to have stretches where you don't and when you don't you hurry. What you do is take more time."

The Eagles began the third quarter scoring the first seven points, closing the deficit to 37-22. Lanesville gained some confidence in the period, hitting 5 of 9 shots while Crawford County hit just 4 of 12. Lanesville won the period, 13-8, to close its deficit to 45-28 with one quarter to go.

"We just got a little bit greedy, and I think we got a little bit sloppy," Brown said. "We weren't as sharp the second half. We assumed everything was going to be easy. Lanesville came out and played more physical and put more pressure on the ball than they did the first half. We didn't execute near as well in the third quarter as we did the first half."

Crawford County began the fourth period with a 10-2 run for a 53-32 advantage. From there, the benches took over as the Wolfpack went on to get the 58-35 win.

"To Lanesville's credit, rather than just sit back and let us do what we want the second half, they came out with some pride and really made it a physical game and went after us some," Brown said. "I'd give anything for that."

Johnny Schwartz led Crawford County with 12 points, and Eric Harned and Zach Thomas followed with 11 each. The Wolfpack put in 21 of 48 shots (44 percent) and 13 of 17 free throws. Crawford County had 13 turnovers.

Brown said Thomas' points were a pleasant surprise.

"I looked at the scorebook a while ago and did not realize he was in double figures," Brown said. "He got to the foul line and hit his free throws. He's a very good free-throw shooter. He had a two and he had a three. When he's open, he shoots the ball really well, and that's one reason we try to play him a little more. It gives us another scorer inside. He's pretty versatile about where he can play."

Kevin Zollman led Lanesville (8-12) with 12 points. The Eagles hit 14 of 38 from the field (37 percent) and 3 of 8 from the charity stripe. Lanesville had 22 turnovers.

The game was the last of the regular season for Lanesville. Meanwhile, the Wolfpack are spending this week preparing for a Friday night matchup with Paoli and a possible share of the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference championship.

"(Paoli) lost their chance last night by Perry (Central) beating them, so, if we want a share of it, we have to end with one loss as does Perry and Orleans already," Brown said. "They've already got a share. We've got senior night here against one of our rivals, and it's for a piece of the conference championship."

"I think it does a great job of keeping us focused," he said. "We've been working for two or three weeks on things for the sectional just behind the scenes. Those are coming together now, and we're starting to do some of those things in games, but we'll be getting ready to try to win on Friday night."

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