Crawford wins rumble over Lanesville
It was a royal rumble last Monday night between the Crawford County Lady Pack and Lanesville Lady Eagles, with Crawford coming out on top, 55-50, in a game that wasn’t decided until the final minute.
‘Lanesville is a very good team,’ Crawford first-year coach Eric Toney said. ‘We knew that and we handled them pretty well. They’ve got very good athletes. Last year, as a softball team, they went to the (state) finals. Those girls came to play.’
‘I cannot complain about the effort the kids gave,’ Lanesville coach Tim Coomer said. ‘Both teams just ran their hearts out. I told the kids, ‘You got beat by a very good team.’ Crawford is going to make some noise. I was really impressed.’
Lanesville took an early 9-4 lead and boosted its advantage to 14-8 when Maegan VanHoose drilled her second three-ball of the quarter.
Crawford, however, rallied with a 7-1 run as the Lady Eagles turned the ball over three times to end the first eight minutes. Crawford’s Chelsea Benham led the surge, scoring both inside and from behind the arc, and Chelsea Barron made the last score to give Crawford a 16-14 lead.
The Lady Eagles converted on their first possession of the second period to tie the game. Crawford took the lead back to four points, but Beth Glomb and Brittany Johnson made back-to-back buckets off of three Crawford errors to tie the game at 21.
Crawford then began a run at the free-throw line, hitting six of six, pushing its lead to five as Lanesville got just one single. VanHoose got two of those back with a deuce at the end of the half as Crawford led 27-24.
The wheels fell off for Lanesville early in the third period as the Lady Eagles turned the ball over. Roxanne Koopman scored twice inside and buried a three-ball in the first two minutes of the quarter to push Crawford’s lead to 34-24.
Jessica Schmelz got two singles for Lanesville, but Benham and Kelci Cox converted on two Lady Eagles errors to give Crawford a 38-26 advantage.
Lanesville then regrouped and scored the next seven points to close the gap back to five, with Brittney Barnickle getting a three-ball in the run.
In the final seconds, however, Crawford made a 5-1 burst and the Lady pack led by nine with eight minutes to go.
‘That was a good quarter for us,’ Toney said. ‘We came out and did some things offensively. We caused them to make some turnovers and got a nice, 10-point lead. I felt like that was the difference in the game.’
Marissa Summers gave Crawford a brief double-digit lead with a free throw to begin the fourth, then Lanesville began a march to get back in the game. However, VanHoose and Glomb canned deuces to pull Lanesville within six, forcing Crawford to call time-out with 4:30 remaining.
When play resumed, Barron converted for the Lady pack, but Lanesville answered with a 6-2 burst to close the gap to two, 48-46, with 1:58 left.
Koopman scored inside, but Lanesville got two singles from Glomb and a deuce from Barnickle that tied the game at 50 with 50.6 seconds left.
Ten seconds later, Koopman scored again, but a loose ball went to Lanesville with 26.5 seconds left. Glomb misfired on a three-ball and then Allison Horton was called for her fourth foul, sending Barron to the line, who canned one of two.
Horton was called for her fifth foul, with Kara Parr also making one of two free-throw attempts with 11.1 seconds left. Following a Lanesville turnover, Koopman also nailed one of two for the final 55-50 score.
‘We started the game with three straight turnovers that had nothing to do with Lanesville,’ Toney said. ‘We just fumbled them away, unforced. That set a terrible tone for us, and the whole first half was a struggle. We were very lucky to be three points ahead at the half.
‘Our young kids endured. It wasn’t necessarily very pretty. It was a game that had a lot of turnovers on both teams, but it was awfully hard-fought. It was very physical for four quarters.’
Koopman led the Lady pack with 16 points, and Benham, a freshman, followed with 15. Crawford committed 17 turnovers and was 15 of 28 (54 percent) from the free-throw line.
‘Koop came up with a key steal in the closing seconds,’ Toney said. ‘Kara Parr came up with a key rebound in the last 30 seconds. Barron hits one out of two free throws. Kara gets one out of two. We take what we can get in a game like this. Sometimes you hit them and sometimes you don’t.’
‘I’ve been impressed with the Benham kid since the jamboree,’ Coomer said. ‘Koopman is a good scorer, too. Coach Toney is an excellent coach and knows what buttons to push. We just got beat by a good team.’
Horton and VanHoose led Lanesville with 13 points each, and Glomb cashed in for 11. Lanesville had 21 turnovers, but connected on 11 of 18 (61 percent) free throws.
‘Even though we didn’t play, we passed the test,’ Toney said. ‘They’re not a bad team. The young team we have still found a way to win on a hostile court and hostile surroundings.’