Eagles shred Crawford County
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer
The Crawford County boys’ basketball team has been taking a beating this year, and it continued Saturday at Lanesville, which was celebrating senior night during its last home game of the season. The Eagles came out on fire from the beginning and throttled down the Wolfpack to post a 58-38 win.
“The last handful of games we’ve had some where our first quarter was not a very good start,” said Lanesville coach Mikel Miller. “Hitting some shots early really relaxed us, and it’s an emotional time when you’ve got seniors and it’s the last home game and you hope they can stay mentally focused on the basketball part of it and let the other stuff take care of itself later.”
“All in all, Lanesville’s not a bad team,” said Crawford County coach Jerry Hanger Jr. “They’ve won some ballgames, and there’s a reason why. They’re well-coached. There’s some things we did not do.”
The Eagles lit up the nets to begin the game, banging in five of their first six shots, two of those coming from Ashton Smith from downtown. Noah Adams kept Crawford County within four until Smith drilled a third three-ball. Ethan Schickel added a jumper, and Lanesville’s lead ballooned to nine, 17-8. Adams put in a pair of free throws for Crawford County, then Jonas Powers and Trevor Harvey traded threes. Lanesville was up by seven, 20-13, at the end of the period.
Both teams struggled with their shooting in the second quarter. Crawford County got seven shots off in the eight minutes and cashed in just two. Lanesville hit just one of its first eight shots in the period then two of the last five. The Eagles won the period by just two, 9-7, and took a 29-20 lead to the locker room at halftime.
“We did not rebound very well,” Hanger said. “Our defense in the first quarter was horrible. We gave up 20 points in the first quarter. At halftime, we had 10 turnovers. There’s no excuse for that. We’re forcing it and settling for shots we shouldn’t have been taking. When you have a team that is a pretty good defensive team, we’re going to take the first shot we can see the rim on. We did that, and that’s what they wanted us to do.”
Hanger said Smith’s three shots from downtown were stingers.
“That hurt,” he said. “We were wanting to play a 3-2 defense the whole game, but I had to get out of it because they had 20 points the first quarter and times that by four that’s 80 points we’re giving them. We didn’t play much defense the first quarter, so I had to go to man and I think we gave up nine. It was 29 at halftime.”
“The other night at Charlestown the first half we were very similar to this,” said Miller. “Defensively, we were pretty solid and made some shots, then the third quarter they went on a little bit of a run and we did not respond well. We didn’t rebound well and gave up a lot of second-chance points. Last night to tonight, we did a little better job not allowing it.”
Both teams missed shots and turned the ball over in the opening minutes of the third period. Schickel finally scored twice to put the Eagles up 33-20. Trevor Harvey and Josh Talley countered. Moments later, the Wolfpack had a 7-2 run to close the game back to six, 37-31. Smith later drilled his fourth three and Powers stuck a three-ball at the end of the quarter to push Lanesville’s advantage back to 43-31 with one quarter left.
The fourth quarter did not go well for the Wolfpack, who hit just two of eight field-goals attempts. Lanesville, meanwhile, put in six of its 11 shots. The Eagles outscored Crawford County 18-7 in the period and went on to post the 58-38 win.
“You’re trying to put pressure on some of the other kids to make plays for them and stuff, and a couple of them hit shots but it wasn’t where it hurt us any in the end,” Miller said. “Defensively, I was pleased with the effort and how hard we worked. I thought we did a good job rebounding. It kind of went in spurts at different times but, if we play defense like that and get a little scoring like we did tonight, we’re usually pretty solid. The games that we’ve lost, outside of a couple, most of them we’ve had an opportunity in the fourth quarter and just didn’t make enough shots and didn’t get enough stops.”
“Just as we got in the flow in the third quarter, we made a little run on them and just couldn’t get over the hump,” Hanger said. “We had some crucial turnovers, a couple of five-second calls, just some things like that where we had the momentum going our way and we couldn’t get the ball inbounds.
“I thought the effort was there, and I think we’re showing some improvements in some areas,” he said. “I think we played a good two or three quarters. I don’t think we played a good four quarters. But when Noah is not scoring and forcing some stuff, his arm was hurting and he was trying to force things like that, they add up. We’ve got to get the turnovers and stuff under control, poor passing, lazy passes, just not being aggressive and taking it to the hole.”
Smith led the Eagles with 18 for the game, and Schickel followed with 13 points. Lanesville punched in 21 of 54 field goals (39%) and had 14 turnovers.
“Ashton Smith knocked down some big shots, threes early, which helped,” Miller said. “He made some layups later on. We got some good play out of Jacob Wernert. Jonas (Powers) had a nice game. We got some bench play. C.J. Baumgart had a really nice game for us and got some baskets for us we needed. Ethan Schickel had a nice game. He had a tough matchup because he was guarding Trevor. For him being able to play defense on one end and score a little bit on the other end really was a key for our success tonight.”
Harvey led Crawford County with 17 for the game, while Adams, who suffered an arm injury, was held to six points. The Wolfpack hit 11 of 33 shots (33%) from the field and 12 of 19 free throws. Crawford County struggled with turnovers, coughing up the ball 25 times.
“I’m not sure about Noah’s arm right now,” Hanger said. “He kept trying to shoot, but every time he touched it with his right hand his arm was hurting pretty bad. I’m pretty sure he hyper extended it. To what extent, we don’t know. He was still trying to play with it and taking some shots he probably shouldn’t have been taking just because of the extent of the injury and the pain that he has. I’m not a doctor, but I know he’s hurting.”
“Defensively, I thought Trevor is a really difficult kid to guard,” Miller said. “He ended up with 17, so really right there I thought we did a pretty good job on him. Noah, trying to contain him off the dribble, he’s really difficult to guard and we held him under 10. The kids did a pretty good job with that.”
Both teams have this week to make their last preparations for next week’s sectional. The Eagles, who played Austin last night (Tuesday), will meet New Washington in their opening round of the Borden sectional, while Crawford County, which is playing four games this week, takes on conference rival Paoli in the Paoli sectional.
“We’ve got the draw, and we’ve got four games next week,” Hanger said. “It’s not going to get any easier. I’m worried about our kids getting hurt, cramping up, things like that.”
“They’ve got some shooters, they’ve got some good athletes out there and it makes them tough,” Miller said of Crawford County. “At sectional time, they’re going to be a tough out no matter what. When you get to sectional, everything starts back over, so for them I think they will be a tough out.”
“Certain things some of these teams do are going to reflect some of the things our sectional teams are doing,” Miller said. “Being able to contain somebody off of the dribble, like Noah, there’s teams in our sectional that have a player similar to that. A guy that can knock down a three or maybe even drive to the basket and post up like Trevor, there’s a few kids that are like that that we’ve got to play in the sectional. So, I think that all kind of helps. That’s why you play that schedule because it’s helping prepare you for that tournament at the end of the season.”
Crawford County 13 7 11 7 – 38
Lanesville 20 9 11 18 – 58
Crawford County – Harvey 17, Adams 6, Brooks 6, Higgins 3, Nickelson 3, Talley 3.
Lanesville – Smith 18, Schickel 13, Powers 9, Wernert 7, Baumgart 5, Miller 4, Tidstrom 2.
3-pointers – Crawford County 4 (Harvey 4); Lanesville 6 (Smith 4, Baumgart 1, Powers 1).