Boys Basketball Sectional Preview

Athenians get re-match with Warriors in semis


The ebbs and flows of lengthy high school boys basketball season can take its toll and fans, players, and coaches. But now the regular season has reached its end and all teams are looking forward to post-season play. For the Crawfordsville Athenians, it’s a season that’s been simply defined as not being able to put the basketball through the hoop. But with CHS the chance to compete in the Class 3A Sectional 25, which is hosted by Lebanon, gives them new life as all coaches say, every team is now 0-0. The Athenians enter with an 8-14 mark overall.

CHS got the luxury of drawing a bye in the sectional and will now have until  Friday until their semi-final game. CHS will get a SAC re-match with  champion Danville who soundly defeated Western Boone 75-34 on Tuesday. CHS fell to Danville 54-35 after hanging tough with the Warriors for the first half with them trailing just 22-20 at intermission.

Crawfordsville coach David Pierce says his team has got to figure out a way to start scoring more points.

“We could care less on who we play, we just have to go in the gym and shoot as many shots as possible,” Pierce said. “If we don’t hit shots we’re not going to beat anyone. I think going into the post-season that we have nothing to lose. We’re going to try and play loose, have a positive attitude and try to get hot from the floor. Everyone of our guys has gotten hot in a game at least once during this season, now it’s a matter of doing in the same game.”

Senior Ethan McLemore has been the catalyst for the Athenians all season long. In their loss to Fountain Central, McLemore scored 24 of the teams 40 points. For the season he averages right around 11 a game with junior Alec Saidian scoring nine a contest. Drake Burris chips in 7.5 with Tyson Fuller (6.5), Kaden Patton (5.5), and Mason McCarty (5.4) all being able to score as well for the Athenians.

“We’ve been able to have success against WeBo this season then also played with Danville for a half with it being 22-20,” Pierce said of the potential opponents for his team. “We have to prepare for both, but the key for us is we’re going to have to come in with confidence. That confidence is going to be built in these practices leading up to next Friday. If we’re able to come in and start knocking down the shots we’re supposed to hit, then we can play with either one of those teams.”

With plenty of seniors on this Athenian team in McLemore, Fuller, Burris and Patton who make up four of their five starters, it’s a team that won’t be seeing a sectional environment and the bright lights of post-season play for the first time.

“We shouldn’t be nervous coming in at all,” Pierce said. “During this stretch we’ve been executing our stuff very well so they know they’ve been doing the right things except just finding the bottom of the hoop. All of these guys are competitors and they hate losing. I think this will be good experience for both Mason and Alec for coming back next year. Hopefully we just are finally able to get hot at the right time.”

On the opposite side of the bracket, Tri-West will take on Lebanon in the second semi-final after defeating Monrovia 68-48 on Tuesday.