Crawfordsville senior Karsten Williamson scored the go-ahead lay-up basket with 3.1 seconds left on the game clock to enable his team to beat Benton Central 53-51. The basket topped off a comeback that saw the Athenians score the last five points during the last two minutes of the game.
Williamson’s heroics started when his first basket came with :39 on the clock to knot the score at 51. He ran down a missed Benton Central shot with :07 left in the game. Williamson, who was battling sickness according to his coach, dribbled down the court and found the lane open for the game winning layup.
Athenian coach David Pierce said once he saw Williamson with the ball, he knew he would not call timeout to give the senior the opportunity to win the game.
“We needed to get the ball into (Williamson’s) hands and we did”, Pierce said. “I was going to call timeout but (Williamson) ran the ball down and I thought ‘nope, I am not calling timeout,’ because he had it. He ending up making the winning basket.”
Until the last basket, Crawfordsville was playing catch up most of the game. The Athenians had not led in the game since 1:32 in the second quarter.
The Bison held leads as large as eight points, 37-29 when Pierce put sophomore guard Zaire Morgan into the game which turned out to be a great decision.
Morgan scored five quick points to get his team to within three points, and seemed to give his team the wake-up call they needed. Crawfordsvlle trailed 39-37 heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter was close the entire way, however the Bison maintained the lead until Williamson’s only two baskets of the game placed his team into the victory column.
Benton Central (1-1) did have plenty of chances to ice the game, however they missed four straight free throws and a layup in the last 1:41 of the game.
The Bison (1-1) got a monster game from junior forward Connor Hall who scored 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting. No other Bison scored in double figures.
Morgan led the Athenians with 12 points, all in the second half. Nate Schroeter scored 10 points.
Pierce said he felt his team fought hard and was pleased they kept playing hard to pull out the win.
“I thought we started off not hitting our shots even though we had good looks,” Pierce said. “I thought our guys played tough throughout the game. We weathered the storm and had guys step up. I wrote on the board after the game that this was a team win. Everyone did something good.”
The win gives Pierce his 100th win of his career.
Crawfordsville will travel to Lebanon on Friday to open Sagamore Conference play. The series between the two rivals is one of the longest in the state.
Benton Central will play at Lafayette Jefferson on Friday.
Crawfordsville 53, Benton Central 51
Benton Central 14 14 11 12- 51
Crawfordsville 9 18 10 16- 53
BC (1-1): Cael Williams 2 1-3 6, Chase Creek 1 0-0 2, Luke Lambeck 2 3-8 8, Kolton Rider 0 0-0 0, Hunter Hardebeck 0 0-0 0, Dawson Brock 1 0-0 3, Connor Hall 11-15 3-4 26, Drew Brock 2 1-1 6 Totals 19-40 8-16 51.
CV (1-1): Ty Lynas 4 0-0 9, Carson Scott 0 0-0 0, Karsten Williamson 2 0-0 4, Ziair Morgan 4 2-2 12, Jesse Hall 3 1-3 7, Cole Watt 0 0-0 0, Alex Kellerman 1 0-2 2, Nate Schroeter 3 4-6 10, Ian Hensley 3 2-2 9 Totals 20-49 9-15 53.
3-Point Shooting: BC 5-18 (Williams 1, Lambeck 1, Drew Brock 1, Hall 1, Dawson Brock 1). CV 4-16 (Lynas 1, Morgan 2, Hensley 1)
Rebounds: BC 25 (Williams 6, Creek 4), CV 31 (Hall 8, Hensley 6)
Turnovers: BC 12, CV 10