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North Harrison tripped up at Crawford

North Harrison and host Crawford County fought in their typical rival style Friday night, with a lot of bumping and grinding, but both teams showed hot hands from the free throw line. The Cougars, however, dug a hole early and despite fighting furiously to get out, the Wolfpack, hotter from the stripe, grabbed a 66-57 win.
‘Crawford County made a lot of free throws,’ said North Harrison coach Rick Snodgrass. ‘They took advantage of the free throw line and that was the end result at the end of the ball game. They did a very good job of spreading the court.’
‘They didn’t quit,’ Crawford County coach Otis Broughton said of the Cougars. ‘They hit free throws all night, and this ball game was, all the way up until 30 seconds (left), in doubt.’
The Wolfpack (8-7) exploded out of the blocks for an 11-2 lead. The Cougars got just one field goal and two free throws in the first eight minutes, allowing Crawford to grab a 13-4 advantage at the period’s end.
Clayton Nix came off the bench to drill a three-ball for the Cougars to begin the second period, but Chris Broughton immediately negated that from behind the arc and later added two free throws for an 18-10 Crawford lead. Josh Kidd and Jon Couts hit 3 of 4 from the stripe, but Lyndon Jones answered with a three.
North Harrison (5-10) then put together a 6-1 burst, pulling to within three, 22-19, after two free throws by Troy Eveslage. With 1:18 to go, Kidd got two in the paint, closing the gap to just two.
Crawford answered with seven, to lead by nine, but with two seconds left, that lead was cut as Nix drilled a three, leaving the Cougars with a six-point deficit, 30-24, at the half.
‘I thought our kids did a very good job coming back,’ Snodgrass said. ‘We got off to a very sluggish start. One of our goals tonight was to get off to a good start, and we didn’t do that. I thought Crawford County did, and then you’re battling up hill all night.’
Broughton said he was pleased to see how his team began the game. The Crawford coach, however, had to make some dramatic changes when his inside players fell prey to foul trouble.
‘We got off to a great start. It was 13-4,’ Broughton said. ‘Then, (Thomas) Malone picked up two (fouls), Nick (Howerton) picked up two, and Craig (Adams) picked up two.
Malone gave Crawford its first two points of the second half, but quickly drew his third and fourth fouls just over a minute and a half into the third period. Derek Rainbolt sank two from the stripe, but Crawford countered again with six unanswered points, Broughton getting a three-ball to put the Wolfpack on top, 38-26.
North Harrison called timeout, then got a response from Couts, who got two singles, and Cory Beach, who drilled a three after Elliott misfired from the stripe twice, closing the gap to eight. Crawford got one back, then Beach got a deuce-and-one, to close the gap to six, 39-22 with 2:57 left in the period.
Jones scored for Crawford, but Eveslage popped a three-ball, pulling North Harrison within five. The two teams then traded baskets in the last minute and a half with the Cougars still down five at the end of the third quarter.
Adams drew his third foul two minutes into the final quarter, and Zach Janes hit both free throws, pulling the Cougars within three, 43-40.
Crawford, however, stopped the Cougar momentum with a 6-2 burst. Meanwhile, Adams drew his fourth foul as did North Harrison’s Couts with 4:55 to go in the game.
North Harrison hit three of its next four free throws, again coming back to within four, 49-45, with 4:14 left. Beach drew his third foul, with Broughton getting the free throws, but Eveslage found a three-ball, pulling North Harrison within three, 51-48, with 3:32 to go.
At that point, however, Beach and Eveslage each picked up their fourth fouls, with Broughton hitting all four from the stripe. Adams got a deuce and the Crawford lead was back to nine. The Cougars got no closer than eight after that, going on to fall, 66-57.
Chris Broughton led the winners with 28 points, connecting on 15 of 16 free throw attempts. Jones followed with 14 points for Crawford County, who committed 12 turnovers and was 26 of 34 from the stripe.
Rainbolt led the Cougars with 14 points, and Kidd finished with 12. The Cougars were 25 of 32 from the stripe, but committed 19 turnovers.
North Harrison hosts Charlestown on Thursday at 6 p.m. while Crawford entertains West Washington that night as well.