Girls Basketball

Athenians fall to Blackhawks as stretch run begins

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SHERIDAN – Taylor Abston followed the ball with her eyes as it twisted around the rim and then through the net.

The Crawfordsville girls basketball team thought this would be the start of a competitive run early in the first quarter, down only 4-2. However, Sheridan sophomore sensation Kenzie Garner would counter and then counter again. Four quarters later the host Blackhawks (7-8) would reign 62-31 on their home floor.

Garner outscored the Athenians herself in the first half 10-9. She ended with 22 points and 11 rebounds, both game highs and both above her averages.

The hosts ratcheted up the defense early, pegging the Athenians with 23 turnovers, but only nine in the second half.

“It was a physical game and we didn’t respond well enough,” Crawfordsville coach Tyler Smith said. “Need just a little more movement and when you’re struggling to get in the offense you get out of position to try and make something happen.”

Rebounding also was an issue especially on the Blackhawks offensive glass where the advantage was 19-14. For the game Sheridan held a 43-34 advantage overall.

The offense, led by Garner and outside threat Ashley Webel, kept the ball moving both in the lane and outside.

“It’s huge because we’re going to play a lot of teams that have one playmaker and one shooter. We were a step slow. We knew they would set ball screens. Even some they missed we were late getting there and then out of position so they’d get an offensive board.”

Junior star Abston was active both inside and around the perimeter, but was shut down offensively. She tallied seven points, just over half of her average. The Athenians post did have a team high 8 boards.

Madison Hedrick also had seven points for the Athenians (4-10).

There were some plusses for the visitors. Yuli Torres entered the game with about two minutes to play. She promptly hit two quick three pointers and later another basket before time ran out. The freshman sharp shooter was the team’s leading scorer with eight points.

“She’s a bucket. We’re hoping to get her more opportunities. Also, at times, our disposition and resolve were good in spurts.”

Smith’s team also wore a commemorative “GP” patch on its uniforms. That was in honor of Sheridan student athlete Gavin Petro, who died in a car accident just before Christmas.

Crawfordsville (4-10) starts a five-game-in-10-day stretch with a home contest Saturday afternoon versus Speedway. 

“I think we play 10 games this month and that’s how we like it. Most of the time throughout the year we’ve responded after a tough opponent. Keep going and keep getting better.”

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