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Dragons hand Pack first loss of the season

In an ugly weeknight game marred by four technical fouls, two ejections, two intentional fouls and a flagrant foul, the visiting Silver Creek Dragons handed Crawford County its first loss of the season last Tuesday, defeating the Wolfpack 74-53.
‘I’m glad it’s over,’ said Crawford coach Mike Ray, who was ejected after receiving a second technical foul in the second half. ‘Things got out of control real early. It just kept getting worse and worse. My objective was to try to get the officials to get the game under control, and I think it went the other direction.’
Crawford had a first quarter to forget, committing 11 turnovers in the first eight minutes and hitting just three of eight field goal attempts. After leading 6-4, Crawford could only watch as the Dragons scored the next 15 points for a 19-6 advantage. The Wolfpack’s turnovers accounted for 17 of the Dragons’ points.
‘This, the third game in a row, the second here at home, that we didn’t come out like we had been coming out,’ Ray said. ‘We dodged a bullet here Friday with South Spencer (a 59-53 overtime Crawford win) and we played better over at Heritage Hills, but we didn’t come out like we had hoped to come out.’
Crawford had a better second quarter defensively, allowing Silver Creek just two field goals. On other hand, however, fouls were a problem, with Spencer Robinson sinking nine free throws during the eight minutes to keep Silver Creek’s lead at 34-20.
The first technical fouls also came during the period, with Ray getting his first with 1:17 left and then Wolfpack player Bobby Berry being called for one at the 1:07 mark. Ray said there was a lot of frustration early in the game.
‘There was,’ said the Crawford coach. ‘You’ve got to give them (Silver Creek) credit defensively for what they were doing. We were just impatient offensively.’
Silver Creek began the second half with a 6-2 burst for a 41-22 lead. Crawford failed to gain any ground in the third period and actually fell backwards, down 53-32.
The fouls mounted up even more in the fourth quarter with Crawford’s Bo Benham fouling out and Ray drawing his second ‘T’, forcing him to leave the court. Crawford’s Nathan Rogers was later called for a fifth fourth as was Nick Howerton, who fouled out on an intentional foul with 5:09 left. Berry also drew an intentional at the 4:11 mark, and Donnie Patton was called for a flagrant with 37 seconds left in the game, which got the senior ejected as well. Silver Creek’s Andrew Clayton also drew a technical foul in the fourth quarter.
Ray said it was the first ejection of his career and he didn’t feel his second technical foul was warranted.
‘But that’s part of the game,’ he said. ‘He (the referee) did what he felt was right. Coaches coach, players play, and referees referee. He did what he felt was his responsibility.’
‘It bothers me that it’s a bad example for the kids,’ said Ray, who was forced to take a one-game suspension when Crawford played Northeast Dubois Saturday night. ‘I’d like to be there coaching, but I was frustrated with the way the game was being called and I let it get the best of me, and I shouldn’t have done that.’
Lyndon Jones led the Crawford scoring with 15 points. The Wolfpack were 16 of 41 (39 percent) from the field and 15 of 23 from the charity stripe. Crawford (4-1) committed 16 turnovers.
Robinson led Silver Creek (5-1) with 15 points, all from the free-throw line. The Dragons hit 20 of their 46 field goal attempts (43 percent) and 30 of 45 free throws. Silver Creek committed 18 turnovers.
‘It’s one loss, and we’re one-fourth of the way through the season right now,’ Ray said. ‘I don’t think too many people thought after the first five games we’d be 4-1. I’ve still got confidence in my team. It’s one game, and I told them in the locker room we’ve got to take this game as a learning experience, and if we get better from it, that’s the objective.
‘We obviously don’t want to take anything negative away from it. We want to learn from our mistakes and take the positives away from it.’