Boys Basketball

Mustangs hold off Athenians on senior night


VEEDERSBURG — An an area battle between Fountain Central and Crawfordsville boys basketball was the lone action of boys hoops on Thursday. Fountain Central concluded the regular season with it being senior night for as they honored their five seniors. On the court the two teams gave the fans a four-quarter battle that came down to the final minute. Thanks to some great free-throw shooting down the stretch the Mustangs held off Cville for a 47-40 win.

For the game Fountain Central (9-12) went 22-28 (78%) from the free-throw line while CHS attempted just four foul shots and went just 1-4 (25%).

“This was a game that we needed as we rounded out the regular season,” Mustang coach Greg Dean said. “We turned it over a little more than we liked but huge credit to our guys for keeping their composure in a tight game. We didn’t let those turnovers snowball into something big. We did a really good job defensively and I’m proud of them because I threw some new stuff at them this week and they were on it the entire game.”

One of those five seniors that was honored before the game was Isaac Gayler. Gayler’s been FC’s leading scorer and rebounder all season long and on senior night he wasn’t going to let his team down. Gayler ended the night with 24 points and 10 rebounds and was a big reason for FC’s success at the foul line going 10-14. Dean made sure to give his senior the props after the big win.

“He had a really good game and that’s all seniors want on their senior night,” Dean added. “Ike was really efficient and played good defense and rebounded like we know he can. We needed him to have the kind of game and we was willing to put us his back and carry us to the win.”

For the game the Mustangs shot12-30 (40%) from the field and 1-6 (16.7%) from three in the win to go along with their 22-28 from the charity stripe. FC grabbed 29 rebounds and turned the ball over 15 times. To go along with Gayler’s 24, freshman Eli Foxworthy added 10 for the Mustangs while Owen Acton scored nine and both Koby Wolf and Aiden Owen chipped in two.

Crawfordsville (7-13) was led in scoring by senior Ethan McLemore who matched Gayler’s exact stat line with 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Athenians. Kaden Patton added seven, while Drake Burris, Alec Saidian, and Mason McCarty all had three each. CHS shot 18-49 (36.7%) from the field in the loss and just 3-16 (18.75%) from three along with just 1-4 from the line. CHS crashed the glass to the tune of 16 offensive rebounds and ended the game with 28 total for the game while turning the ball over nine times.

“Like always I’m proud of kids for playing hard and executing, we just for whatever reason can’t hit shots right now,” Crawfordsville coach David Pierce said. “Because we can’t score right now, we’re not going to win and it’s showing. Give FC credit for getting to the line and knocking them down. I have to give E-Mac (McLemore) a ton of credit. That kid hustled all night long and had to guard Gayler at times, get rebounds that weren’t his to get and then ended 24 and 10. He’s been unreal for us and he’s a ruthless and relentless competitor and we’re sure glad to have him.”

Dean made one final comment about his five seniors that included Gayler, Acton, Wolf, Owen and Brayden Prickett. Dean has been able to coach since he got to FC in their sophomore year. It’s a group that was a big reason for the semi-state run the Mustangs went on a season ago and Dean made sure he talked about what a special group its been.

“When you first come into a school, you look for a group to help you get your footing and this was that group when I got here three years ago,” Dean said. “They are a big group of kids and they just love to play basketball so I kind of took to them right away. They’re always around in the summer wanting to get better and I loved going out and watching them in their other sports. We’re certainly going to miss their leadership and camaraderie.”

Crawfordsville concludes the regular season tonight with another trip to Fountain County to take on the Covington Trojans.

Fountain Central is idle until next Friday when they host the Class A Sectional 54 tournament. FC drew the bye and awaits the winner of Attica and Rossville.