Lanesville rumbles past Crawford
Wade Bell, Clarion News
Not long after school let out at Lanesville Junior-Senior High School last Tuesday, Lady Eagles’ starting guards Austin Crosier and Georgia Brumley were involved in a vehicle crash. The injuries were minor, but the pair of underclassmen were unable to play in Lanesville’s game against visiting Crawford County.
“We talked about it as a team, and I let the team decide what they wanted to do tonight,” said Lanesville head girls’ coach Angie Hinton. “That’s a pretty emotional thing. It was pretty emotional for me. With the things that have happened for this community, that’s really a sore spot.”
The team decided to carry on and play the game and did so with a lot of motivation. The Lady Eagles gave the Lady Pack two heaping hands full of trouble and left with a 49-42 win that resembled WWE wrestling match.
“I knew it was going to be a battle,” said Hinton. “They’re a very physical, scrappy team, and every time we played they’ve got the better of us each time. We’re trying to get our kids on a consistent basis to play that hard. We’ve watched a lot of game film and just things that they do. We talked to our kids about how hard their kids play, and that’s what we want to model when we play.”
“We knew it was going to be a battle coming up here to Lanesville,” said Crawford County coach Chris Broughton. “This will be good for our kids. We’re going to take a lot away from this loss. We’re going to go back and watch a lot of film and make some adjustments. This will be good for our team. This was a sectional-type game, in my opinion, very physical.”
The rumble started at the tip-off with the two teams trading points back and forth until Gracie Adams hit a jumper to give Lanesville a 10-6 edge. Treasure Nickelson got two freebies just before the end of the period, and the Lady Eagle lead was back to two at the end of the first quarter.
Autumn Schigur scored inside for Crawford County to start the second period, but Lanesville countered with nine straight points, converting off of two Crawford County turnovers and two missed shots. Lexie Fraime and Adams traded jumpers, then the two teams went through a series of turnovers. Nickelson and Gabi Gaines scored the final three points of the half, and Lanesville took a 21-15 lead to the locker room at halftime.
Lanesville’s 2-3 zone defense kept Crawford County from working their inside game effectively.
“We were just content to work it around the perimeter,” said Broughton. “We were slow getting into our offense. We were just kind of a little passive in the first half. That’s probably a good word for it. Again, they really packed it in. I’m sure their goal was to take Treasure away, and they did that early. Not that Treasure played bad, but she finally got loose a few times there in the second half when we were making our comeback. We just waited too late to start playing.”
“We just really tried to work on keeping our hands up and moving and shifting and, with the flight of the ball, knowing where their shooters were, knowing where Nickelson was, and just trying to touch base with them,” said Hinton. “We lost her a few times. We lost their shooters a couple of times, but I thought the kids did a great job of responding to the game plan.”
The Lady Eagles began the second half with an 8-0 burst to extend their advantage to 14, 29-15. Crawford County got some of that back when it finally found a way into Nickelson, who created her own 6-2 burst. Lanesville scored twice at the end of the period and enjoyed a 35-21 lead to start the final eight minutes.
“We had a few miscues here and there but, with the size of team we put out there on the floor tonight, that was a pretty big team for us,” said Hinton.
Crawford County finally got some traction in the fourth and poured in eight straight points, with Sarah Stutzman driving the lane for two to close the gap to six, 35-29. Adams put in two free throws but those were countered by a Gaines’ jumper. The Lady Eagles pushed back with six points to extend their lead back to 12, 43-31. The trading continued as Nickelson canned a pair from the charity stripe, and Gaines banged in a three.
With the clock ticking down, Turner and Adams put in singles. Brooke Elliott drilled a three for the Lady Pack, and Nickelson drained a pair of free throws to close the gap to four, 45-41, with just over a minute to go in the game. Gaines added a deuce, but Lanesville finished out the final 30 seconds with four free throws and got the 49-43 win.
“Being a physical game like that and basically playing six kids out there, with the two freshmen, they played really, really strong,” Hinton said. “Gracie’s offense, she was on it for us early, and that relaxes everybody. When you make shots, it makes everything look good. I think we play hard. We’ve lost a couple of games that maybe we should have been in, but we didn’t hit the basket well. Tonight it was a total team effort.”
“We didn’t show up and play our best,” Broughton said. “Give them a lot of credit. They made some good adjustments. I didn’t feel like our press hurt them as much as it did in the first game. We knew it was going to be tough playing up here. Lanesville, they’re a good basketball team. We have a lot of respect for them and their players.”
Adams led the winners with 17 points for the game, and Elizabeth Turner and Linzie Wernert finished with 11 each. The Lady Eagles were hot from the field hitting 16 of 27 field goals (59%) and 16 of 26 free throws. Turnovers were still a problem with Lanesville handing over the ball 24 times.
“Linz, that’s that best I’ve seen Linz play,” Hinton said of Wernert. “Linz had to handle the basketball for us and she did some good basketball things that we’ve been trying to get her to do, but she’s kind of laid back. Tonight, she really stepped up and was a good leader on the floor. She did a good job defensing out there too, and she was vocal out there on the floor, which made everybody else more vocal. So, it was really great to see that leadership out of her, too.”
“We couldn’t find (Adams) around the high post,” said Broughton. “We lost her in transition a couple of times, which is a little disappointing because we did that to North Harrison a couple of weeks ago with Saunders … Give them credit; they handled it and found Adams and she made us pay.”
Nickelson led the Lady Pack with 16 points, while senior guard Elliott was held to just 5 for the night. Crawford County was 17 of 43 from the field (40%) and 7 of 8 on free throws. Crawford County finished with 17 turnovers.
“They kind of took us out of what we wanted to do, and they really packed it in defensively,” Broughton said. “They took Treasure away early. They didn’t let Treasure get any looks.”
“Our game plan was to shut down the inside and the three a little bit,” said Hinton. “We knew we were going to give up something, which you always do. There at the end (Broughton) had a couple of kids over there that made some shots and kept them in the game and brought them back in the game. We were just holding on there.”
“The crowd was great, and it was a great atmosphere for our kids to play in,” Hinton said. “Those are the kind of games that help your program and make you better down the road. Crawford is a good team. He does a great job. I brag on him a lot. He does a great job with his program down there. We’ve worked together, several of us, and we help each other out as much as we can. He’s a great young coach and he’s done a good job there.”
Crawford County 8 7 6 22 – 43
Lanesville 10 11 14 14 – 49
Crawford County (6-3) – Nickelson 16, Gaines 8, Fraime 6, Schigur 6, Elliott 5, Stutzman 2.
Lanesville (7-2) – Adams 17, Turner 11, Wernert 11, Sonner 8, Gordon 2.
3-point goals – Crawford County 2 (Gaines 1, Elliott 1); Lanesville 1 (Adams 1).