Sometimes there’s nights where an opposing team just can’t miss and everything goes their way. Unfortunately for Crawfordsville boys basketball and their fans Tuesday night would be that night for the visiting McCutcheon Mavericks. McCutcheon came in with just a 2-13 record, but that record doesn’t indicate what a threat they can be. Playing the greater Lafayette schools of Harrison, Twin Lakes, Benton Central, West Lafayette, Central Catholic and others more than prepared the Mavericks for this matchup vs CHS. From the opening tip\, it was clear that the night belonged to McCutcheon who led 16-2 after a quarter and thanks to a red hot shooting night had no problems cruising to a dominant 71-36 win over the Athenians.
For the game McCutcheon shot a staggering 14-25 (56%) from three while also playing great defense and forcing 14 Athenian turnovers. For the game the Mavs shot 28-48 (58%) from the floor.
“It’s pretty obvious that this was our best shooting night of the year,” Maverick coach Tyler Scherer said. “It started with a couple of tough ones then after that our guys started to feel real confident in taking them. It was a multitude of guys too and that allowed the confidence to flow to every single one of them. It was just that kind of night for us.”
10 first-half turnovers doomed the Athenians as well which caused Crawfordsville coach David Pierce to use most of timeouts in the first 16 minutes. Scherer noted how their game plan coming in was to smother whoever had the ball and the Mavericks did that and were able to not only score at will but play great defense all night.
“We talked about pressuring the passer because they (CHS) can pretty good when they have time to survey the floor,” he said. “We did a great job of that and that allowed us to get some deflections and steals and get some easy buckets in transition.”
Owen Souligne led all scorers in the game with 23 points for the Mavs. Gavin Pritzel scored 12, Isaac Richardson 11, Brody Raeke nine, Brody Baker eight, while Noah Lyons, Shamar Ray, Parker Sorrells, and Lonnie Griffin all had two. Along with their 28-48 and 14-25 shooting performances, McCutcheon (3-13) only went to the foul line three times and went 1-3. They grabbed 30 rebounds and turned the ball over 10 times.
Crawfordsville (7-9) was led in scoring by senior Ethan McLemore’s 22 points as he did everything he could to keep his team in the game. Kaden Patton added six, Mason McCarty and Alec Saidian three, and Drake Burris ended with two. CHS shot 13-44 (29.5%) from the field and just 5-27 (18.5%) from deep while going 5-6 (83.3%) from the foul line an grabbing 22 rebounds.
“The unfortunate thing at the beginning of the game was we came out in man and they were still getting open looks,” Pierce said. “That’s just us not having that competitive edge to get in a guys face and not let him score. The worst thing about this game was that we had three senior guards out there who had four turnovers each. That can’t happen for any team that wants to be successful. The realization for us now is that we’re going to have to start playing more guys if we continue to have nights where this many guys are off. We have to hold our older guys accountable to play at an efficient level.”
The schedule the rest of the way doesn’t do the Athenians any favors. Friday CHS will travel to 13-5 Tri-West before hosting 13-5 Twin Lakes on Saturday. Next Friday 16-1 Danville comes to Crawfordsville with 11-5 Central Catholic the next night. At Fountain Central on Feb. 22 and at Covington on Feb. 23 round out what Pierce and his staff call “the gauntlet” of their schedule.
“We need that competitive grit back,” Pierce said. “We going to get after things in practice behind closed doors and challenge these guys and see how they respond. Hopefully this is a good motivator for us to play better down this stretch.”