The Paper photo by Lori Poteet
Head Coach David Pierce
The Paper photo by Lori Poteet Head Coach David Pierce
GREENCASTLE - Crawfordsville and Tri-West continued their heated rivalry on the court Friday evening, this time in the Sectional 25 semi-final at Greencastle. The Athenians used a stingy defense to cling to a two point lead at the half, but the Bruins used a big second half, outscoring Crawfordsville 49-34, to advance to Saturday’s sectional final with a 66-53 victory.
“I thought in the first half we did a decent job of getting the ball in the paint, creating some fouls and getting to the line,” said Athenian head coach David Pierce. “We hoped to do that in the second half, but struggled with their length and size.”
The Bruins led 8-5 after one, and extended it to seven, two minutes into the second before Crawfordsville went on a 6-2 run to cut it to 14-11.
On the ensuing possession, James Gineris drove the ball to the basket and picked up Bruin forward Peyton Hendershot’s second foul, sending him to the bench with 3:40 left in the half.
The Athenians took advantage, outscoring them 8-3 to lead 19-17 at half.
“We shot 25 percent from the floor, and led Tri-West by two,” Pierce said. “That just goes to show you how hard our guys were playing.”
Tri-West would take the lead for good to start the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Matthew Chinn.
The Athenians trimmed the lead to one 39-38, on a Daulton Bridgewater three to open the fourth, but Tri-West hit 13-of-15 from the charity stripe to pull out the 13-point win.
The Bruins outscored Crawfordsville 36-16 in the paint, and outrebounded them 39-25.
“This group had the most programs wins since the 1986-1987 season,” Pierce said. “Their chemistry is unbelievable, which is something they can take with them.”
“It’s unfortunate that it has to end,” he continued. “We’re lucky to have good kids from good families that play with class.”
Crawfordsville finishes at 16-8. They were led by Cameron Harris’ game high 21-points. Guard finished with 13 and James Gineris joined them in double figures with 10.
Friday marked the final game for Athenian seniors, Bridgewater, Gineris, Guard, Trent Johnson and Elliott Stewart.
“Our program is grateful to this group,” Pierce said. “Because they competed every day in practice and demanded everyone’s best, they laid the groundwork for our JV to finish 18-4.”
When asked about their season record, Johnson credited it to the hard work they put in over the summer. “We’ve done it for four years, and it really paid,” he said. “We came together and had really good team chemistry.”
Guard spoke of the valuable lessons they learned. “No matter how many times you fail, you always get back up, dust yourself off and keep fighting,” he said. “Our team showed that this year with the injuries we overcame and some of the tough losses.
Tri-West, who was led by Tyler Watson’s 20 and Peyton Henderhot’s 18, improves to 21-3 and will look to claim their fourth consecutive sectional title when they battle Lebanon tomorrow evening.

TRI-WEST 66, CRAWFORDSVILLE 53
Tri-West 8 9 22 28--66
Crawfordsville 5 14 16 18--53

TRI-WEST
Player FG-A FT-A R F PTS
WATSON 5-12 10-11 1 4 20
HENDERSHOT 7-10 4-4 14 4 18
BLAKE 3-4 5-6 6 4 11
HILL 4-7 2-5 9 1 10
CHINN 2-4 0-0 0 1 6
LUCAS 0-1 1-2 0 0 1
GRUBBS 0-3 0-0 4 1 0
Totals 21-41 22-28 34 15 66
Percentages: FG .512, FT .786. 3-Pointer: 2-7 (Chinn 2-4, Grubbs 0-1, Watson 0-2). Team Rebounds: 5.

CRAWFORDSVILLE
Player FG-A FT-A R F PTS
HARRIS 7-16 5-5 3 2 21
GUARD 4-12 1-2 2 2 13
GINERIS 3-8 3-6 4 4 10
JOHNSON 0-2 1-2 3 5 1
STEWART 0-0 0-2 1 1 0
BRIDGEWATER 2-5 0-0 4 2 5
SOMMER 1-3 1-1 2 3 3
Totals 17-46 11-18 19 19 53
Percentages: FG .370, FT .611. 3-Pointer: 8-24 (Guard 4-9, Harris 2-7, Bridgewater 1-2, Gineris 1-3, Sommer 0-1, Johnson 0-2). Team Rebounds: 6.