The Paper photo by Codey Emerson 
Senior Lauren Kellerman led the Athenians with 13 total points during the team’s 64-37 loss against Tri-West on Friday night.
The Paper photo by Codey Emerson Senior Lauren Kellerman led the Athenians with 13 total points during the team’s 64-37 loss against Tri-West on Friday night.

LIZTON – The Crawfordsville Lady Athenians traveled to Lizton on Friday night to play their first Sagamore Athletic Conference of the season against the Tri-West Bruins. 

The Lady Bruins came out firing on all cylinders as they opened up a 26-4 lead after the first quarter. The Lady Athenians attempted to rally back but had just dug themselves too deep of a hole as they lost by a final score of 64-37. 

The offense for the Lady Athenians seemed stagnant most of the night. Head Coach Tyler Smith who is still in search of his first win with the Lady Athenians, talked about the offensive struggles so far this season. 

“I think we’ve relied a bit too reliant on our top players to make the plays out there,” Smith said. “Some of our other girls have to understand that they don’t the ball on the first pass every time. If we run our offense the ball will find them. There have been points where we try and go to quick on offense, then there are times where we look too passive. If we run our offense correctly, then those shots will come for the other girls.” 

While the Athenian offense looked stagnant, that was the exact opposite with the Lady Bruins. The Lady Bruins ball movement was outstanding and it kept the Athenians on their toes all night long. Junior Point Guard Grace Sandlin ran the offense to a tee and dished out numerous assists on the night. Smith talked about how the Bruin offense was able to take advantage of their defense and praised the Bruins on their style of play. 

“They have a lot about them that we want to become,” Smith said. “Looking across at how they were running their offense, it was pretty simple, but they execute it so well. Whether it be pass and cut, a screen and roll, it was working all night. It comes down to how effective are you, how sharp are you when you execute those things. There’s a difference between trying to get your teammate open and just going through the motions.” 

Sophomore Kenna Kirby led all scorers in the game as she finished with 17 points for the Lady Bruins while Fellow Sophomore Isabelle Saylor added 15 more points. Adrie Thompson, also a sophomore rounded out the double digit scoring for the Bruins as she scored 12 points in the win. 

“We tried multiple defensive looks to slow them down,” Smith said. “We knew they had good ball movement and the goal was to try and limit the amount of possessions they would get. We came out in a 3-2 zone and wanted them to take 20-30 seconds before they take a shot. No matter what defense we threw at them, they were able to pass the ball around get to their spots.” 

When it comes to improving, Smith knows that it is the little things for his girls and confidence also plays a factor. 

“That’s almost exactly what we’ve told them,” Smith said. “It comes down to knowing our plays and that comes down to repetition. As we build that confidence in practice it starts to become more second nature. If we get pressured, we’ll know what to do as we practice more. The main goal of tonight was to leave the game with some positives. It took a lot longer than what we wanted, but we do feel a little better with how the game finished. The ball movement and our defense was better, and the girls played more free. We got a big week coming up so we’ll take those positives into this week at practice.”

Senior Lauren Kellerman led the Athenians with 13 points in the loss. The Lady Athenians drop to 0-3 (0-1 SAC) and will be back in action on Tuesday as they will travel to Fountain Central.