The Paper photo by Codey Emerson 
Senior Lauren Kellerman led the way for the Lady Athenians with 10 points in Crawfordsville’s 55-28 loss against North Putnam on Wednesday.
The Paper photo by Codey Emerson Senior Lauren Kellerman led the way for the Lady Athenians with 10 points in Crawfordsville’s 55-28 loss against North Putnam on Wednesday.

ROACHDALE – The Crawfordsville Lady Athenians were looking to bounce back from their season opening loss against Seeger last week as they hit the road for the first time in the 2019-20 season, taking on the North Putnam Cougars. 

When the final buzzer sounded the Cougars walked away with a 55-28 victory over the Lady Athenians. Heading into halftime, the Cougars had doubled up the Athenians as the score sat at 26-13. However coming out of the second half, the Cougars quickly were able to outscore the Athenians 20-4 in the third to take a 46-17 lead into the final quarter of play. 

Turnovers doomed the Lady Athenians all night long as the team ended turning the ball over 32 times in the loss. Head Coach Tyler Smith talked about those turnovers and mistakes after the game. 

“Well over half of those 32 turnovers tonight were un-forced,” Smith said. “Whether it was not coming to the ball, or passing over the top of girls which we worked on all week, we’re just disappointed in that amount and something we’re going to have to quickly fix.”

The Cougars all night were playing press-style of defense against the Athenians which also caused some of the turnovers as well. Adding to the turnovers, the Athenians shots were not falling as the team only shot 24 percent (9/40) for the entire game. Smith seemed to believe a majority of the team’s struggles on offense just came from a lack of confidence. 

“We’d been talking all week about belief,” Smith said. “We never found that confidence tonight. Whether that came from playing on the road, or other parts of the game not going your way, who knows. We felt like coming into the game that if they were going to play zone, that we were going to knock some shots down and be able to stay in the game, but it just didn’t happen.” 

Most games are generally decided by which team is able to get on a run, and the held true tonight in the third quarter. The Cougars came out aggressive on both ends of the floor and the Athenians just had no answer.

“They just wanted it more,” Smith said of that third quarter. “We felt like tonight we just were a step and a half to slow to every facet of the game. Whether that was rebounding, or coming over to help, coming to the ball on offense. We’re going to our nights where our shots aren’t falling, but when it comes to being out-worked, and showing toughness on the other side, that was disappointing. We know it’s in there, but tonight we just were weak in all aspects of the game.” 

About halfway through that third quarter as the Cougars were going on their run and breaking the game open, Smith decided to sub in his entire bench. He talked about that decision after the game. 

“It was a horrible start to that quarter,” Smith said. “There wasn’t much toughness being shown and it seemed like 90 percent of the loose balls they were getting and we weren’t fighting for them. Sometimes you just get tired of watching that and want to give other girls a shot. We have to do better and they know that.” 

Senior Lauren Kellerman led the way for the Lady Athenians with ten points on the night. Shea Williamson added another six points, with Liddy McCarty scoring four. Smith talked about how moving forward the team is going to work on improving the offense and attempting to break the type of zone defense that the Cougars shown. 

“We were looking good in practice when we were preparing to face a zone,” Smith said. “We stressed all week that we were going to make the easy passes and not force anything but that didn’t happen tonight. Some aspects of the game are filtering in to other parts. If we did what did in practice, I do believe the result would’ve been different tonight.” 

For the Cougars Sophomore Kyla Willis led the way with 18 points. Senior Hannah Sims added nine, and fellow senior Clarissa Gibson scored eight. 

The loss for the Athenians drops their record to 0-2 (0-0 SAC) on the season. The team will be back on the road for another tough road test as they open up Sagamore Conference play against Tri-West (1-1, 1-0 SAC) on Friday.