Sugar Creek Classic Preview

Athenians and Stars to battle in SCC opener


The 17th annual Boys Sugar Creek Classic is set to get underway at Crawfordsville High School on Friday night. The annual four-team tournament that features Crawfordsville, Southmont, North Montgomery and Western Boone should be another competitive two-day slate. In the second game of the night on Friday CHS and WeBo will square off with both teams looking to get back in the win column. 

WeBo comes into the Classic with a 2-6 record and their last game was played right around three weeks ago before the holiday break which was  74-57 loss to Fountain Central. Cville has dropped their last two games to Seeger (48-24) and Speedway (53-41) and sits at 4-4 on the season. Crawfordsville comes in averaging 47 points per game and giving up 45 while WeBo scores. 48.8 a contest, but gives up 56.1.

“WeBo has built their athletic programs very well and you can see that Dustin (Oakley) is beginning to do that same thing with his team,” Cville coach David Pierce said of the Stars. “They have some talent with (Marcus) Fortner leading the way and having a big 28 point game vs South. We know they’re always going to compete and they have skills that you have to take away. Both of us are very similar in which we both are as good as we are bad sometimes. Because this game is up in the air, both teams are going to be licking their chops and wanting to go to battle.”

Fortner as Pierce said is the leading scorer for the Stars with 10.9 a game. Right behind him is sophomore Tristyn Faulk who scores nine. Junior Gavin Hawkins adds eight a game for the Stars as they have a solid three-man attack offensively. CHS, likewise is also very balanced in the scoring department. Junior big man Alec Saidian leads the Athenians with 10.6 points and 6.6 rebounds per game. Tyson Fuller (8.9), Drake Burris (8.3) and Ethan McLemore (8.0) all can be the leading scorers as well for the Athenians. Kaden Patton also chips in six with Mason McCarty adding five a game.

“Crawfordsville is always a well coached team and a great program,” Oakley said of the Athenians. “I’ve always had a ton of respect for their coaching staff. They’re a tough team to prepare for as Patton has shot it well, McLemore and Fuller are dangerous every single time they’re on the floor and Saidian runs the floor very well for a big man. We need to be able to contain their production as much as we can.”

Crawfordsville’s last game before break came back on Dec. 22 but now that Cville is back at practice this week, it’s been full steam ahead and ramping up the intensity each day.

“Our M.O. this week has been to just come out and battle Pierce said. “We want to be tough both physically and more importantly mentally. We can’t let the emotion of the game get into our heads. I do think we hold a slight advantage just from the fact that mostly all of our guys have been in this tournament environment. This tournament in the middle of the season gives every team something to play for and look forward to despite what any of our records are. All four teams have the ability to win this thing and that’s just another reason why it’s a great experience for our guys.”

The winner between the Athenians and Stars on Friday will play the winner of Southmont and North Montgomery Saturday night at 6:30 for the right to take home the Sugar Creek Classic paddle.