Benton Central boys basketball is expected to be a very good basketball team this season. Bringing every player back from a 17-8 team a year ago and adding former Seeger Patriot Michael Winchester, it’s a team that is extremely talented and senior led. The Bison made the trip to Crawfordsville for a Saturday night non-conference showdown with CHS. For three and a half quarters, the Athenians held their own against the talented BC squad, but a four-point game quickly surged to a 10 point deficit for the Athenians late in the game and they could never recover. Benton Central walked away with a 55-49 win
In the first half both offenses matched each other shot for shot and more specifically three for three. BC held a slim 16-14 lead after the first and just a 29-26 lead at halftime. Ethan McLemore and Drake Burris along with Kaden Patton kept Cville in the game all night but trailing by six, a pair Cville turnovers made it a 10 points with 5:43 left with BC leading 51-41 and neither offense would get much going down the stretch.
“We slowed them down using our 3-2 zone and got back in it after falling behind so I was proud of them for that,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “We played even with them after that until the fourth quarter and just struggled down the stretch. I think we were trying to push the tempo just a little bit faster than what we needed to. I’m pleased overall with how we played against a great team.”
McLemore scored a team-high 18 points for CHS, Burris scored 13 with Patton adding eight. Cville for the game shot 17-45 (37.8%) from the floor and 7-25 (28%) from three along with 5-7 from the foul line. They grabbed 20 rebounds and turned it over just seven times.
Benton Central was led in scoring by Winchester’s 21 points. The senior added 10 rebounds to secure the double-double. Big man Hunter Sisson did all his damage from behind the three-point line draining four threes and ended with 14. Joe Widmer scored 11 to make it three Bison scoring in double figures. BC for the game shot 18-38 (47.4%) from the floor and 9-22 (40.9%) from three. They made 10-15 shots from the foul line and grabbed 31 rebounds while turning it over nine times.
“We knew if we played well we still might come up short because they’re really talented,” Pierce said. “Ethan had a great game with 18 and he needed to be that scorer for us. Some of our other guys just missed shots and that happens. Alec (Saidian) had an off night and we need to find a way to get him going again. I told them that this a non-conference game against a great team and it will make us better in the long run.’
Benton Central stays unblemished on the young season as they improve to 2-0 on the season. Cville falls to 1-1 and they’ll be off until Friday when they travel to Lebanon to open up Sagamore Conference play.
“We’re going to have our hands full when we go there,” Pierce said. “(Kaden) Lark is probably the best athlete in the conference and then (Jack) Farrell is a coaches kid who plays smart and is tough. They have a whole new group around those guys so hopefully our guys will be able to use that in-experience to our advantage but we’re going to have to play well to make them un-comfortable.”