HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS BASKETBALL

Athenian girls basketball on pause admist three-game winning streak

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On Tuesday night the Crawfordsville girls’ basketball team won a third straight game for the first time since 2015, when they defeated Covington 47-41.

Unfortunately, less than two weeks from the start of the IHSAA state tournament, the Athenians season has been put on pause due to COVID-19 concerns. 

“We feel like we had several more games we could win to finish out the season, but we also feel fortunate to have played as many games as we did,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said Wednesday afternoon. “The hardest part of being shut down is not being able to be around these girls. It really becomes your second family during the season, and we will truly miss getting to coach and see our team every day.”

Crawfordsville had played 15 games, and would have carried a 5-10 record into a home date with Sagamore Coference rival Lebanon on Thursday, before traveling to Tri-West on Friday, hosting Southmont on Saturday, and going to North Montgomery on Monday. The Athenians were scheduled to close out the regular season next week at home on Tuesday against North Vermillion and at Frankfort on Friday.

The Athenians were just hitting their stride too, averaging over 51 points per game on their three-game winning streak.

“We follow through with a lot of things,” Olivia Reed, who is averaging double-figures on the season, said after the win on Tuesday. “At the beginning of the season coach made game plans and we just wouldn’t do them. And now we are starting to run plays together.”

Crawfordsville has proved that hard work in practice pays off in games — knocking down 17 3-pointers in the last two games.

“I feel like our practice is going into our games,” junior Shea Williamson said. “We are hitting a few shots and we build each other’s energy.”

Key halftime adjustments have led to second half surges against Riverton Parke and Covington just in the last week.

“It’s been a process,” Smith said of putting game plans to purpose. “but definitely the last couple home games specifically there’s been halftime adjustments that they’ve come out and ran with and helped us win the game. That’s huge to continue to build that trust between coaches and players.”

The draw for the girls’ state basketball tournament will be conducted on Sunday, with the Athenians set to play in the Class 3A Sectional No. 25 at Tri-West. Their availability for the sectional is to be determined, but either way, the future is bright for Crawfordsville.

“We are incredibly proud of our girls for their hard work, improvement, and dedication this season,” Smith said. “We believe this program is absolutely on the rise, and we will be setting some big goals for next year. Hopefully, we’ll get one more shot to play here in a few weeks. But no matter what happens, we can hold our heads high and look ahead to a promising future for Lady Athenian basketball.”   

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