The Paper file photo by Lori Poteet<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Nick Page and the Athenians are now focused on Lebanon.
The Paper file photo by Lori Poteet

Nick Page and the Athenians are now focused on Lebanon.
The Crawfordsville Athenians boys' basketball team didn't play particularly well on Saturday at Benton Central, but they were able to make a run and pull it close in the fourth quarter. Ultimately, the Bison defeated the Athenians 63-57.

The Athenians had a three point lead after one quarter, and they were within a point with three minutes left before the half, but the Bison went on a hot streak and started hitting shots in the closing minutes of the first half. Aided by four consecutive turnovers by Crawfordsville, Benton Central went on a 12-3 run to close the half and took a 31-21 lead into the break. Crawfordsville head coach David Pierce cited a lack of focus and too many turnovers as primary factors in the loss.

"We had 20 turnovers," said Pierce. "We did not take care of the ball well at all and Benton Central started hitting their shots."

The Bison extended the lead to 16 after three periods before the Athenians shook off the cobwebs and mounted their comeback. Austin Turpin came off the bench to hit a three pointer for the Athenians that pulled them within two points. The Bison would hit pressure free throws down the stretch to keep the game out of reach however.

Pierce said that the focused competition was not apparent as a team. Jordan Jackson had a double-double plus five steals to help keep the Athenians in the game. Shad Conrad was also a key player for the Athenians with eight rebounds and seven assists. Pierce said that he will take a positive fourth quarter from this game and move on.

"We have to forget the loss and move on," said Pierce. "We can't focus on what went wrong against Benton Central. This week in practice we will focus on what we need to do right to beat Lebanon."

The Athenians will host the Tigers this Friday in a boys/girls double header. The girls' game will tip off at 6 p.m. and the boys will play after. Lebanon's boys' team is coming off of a 91-35 victory over North Putnam, and Pierce knows his team is up for a test.