Crawfordsville and Lebanon met for the 190th time Wednesday evening, this time for a date with Friday’s Class 3A Sectional 25 semi-final on the line. The Athenians defense stymied the Tigers for the first three quarters, as they jumped out to a 24-point lead after three.
However, Lebanon found its offensive rhythm in the fourth, scoring on eight of their first nine possessions, cutting the Athenian lead to nine, 60-51 late. Crawfordsville converted on 21-of-31 free throws in the fourth to pull out the 68-54 win.
“I thought we played really well the first three quarters. We controlled it, and we were able to trap when we wanted, have good ball pressure and created some transition points,” said Athenian head coach David Pierce. “We started a little sluggish but we turned it on and made a run in the second.”
Lebanon jumped out to a 3-0 lead early, only to see Crawfordsville go on an 8-0 run in less than a minute to force a Tiger timeout as they’d lead 11-7 after one. They expanded the lead to 23-14 at the half.
After Lebanon cut the lead to 11 midway through the third, the Athenians closed the quarter on a 13-0 run to give them their largest lead of the game at 43-19.
“We came in at halftime and told them the start of the third quarter was going to decide the game,” Pierce said. “Our guys hit some big shots, and we outscored them 20-5.”
Lebanon resorted to fouling Crawfordsville on nearly every possession in the fourth allowing the Athenians to actually finish with more free throw attempts, 40, than they did field goal attemps, 31. Crawfordsville’s only two field goals in the quarter came from Will Kellerman and Jake Decker.
“When you get a big lead like that you tend to get comfortable and your effort drops off,” added Pierce. “We showed some immaturity there late.”
Lebanon finishes at 9-15 and were led by Carson Burtron’s 18 and Kye Zimmerman’s 14.
Crawfordsville improves to 17-6, which is their most wins since 1972, were led by Kellerman’s 20. Tray Scorza 16 and Karsten Williamson 11 also finished in double figures. Jesse Johnson-Hall pulled down nine boards.
Wednesday’s win over Lebanon was the first time since the 1952-1954 season that the Athenians have defeated their rival four times in a row. With the win, they’ll face Western Boone, a team they’ve defeated twice this season in Friday’s second Semi-Final at 7:30.
“They’re a really talented and physical team, and we’ll have to handle their physicality,” Pierce said. “In both games, we did a nice job of frustrating them. Our kids are pumped and really confident right now.”

CRAWFORDSVILLE 68, LEBANON 54
ATHENIANS 11 12 20 25—68
TIGERS 7 7 5 35—54

CRAWFORDSVILLE
Player FG-A FT-A R F PTS
KELLERMAN 6-9 5-5 3 1 20
SCORZA 4-5 7-10 3 4 16
WILLIAMSON 2-2 6-10 3 4 11
JOHNSON-HALL 1-2 5-10 9 4 7
SAUNDERS 1-4 1-2 1 2 3
GONZALEZ 3-7 2-3 0 0 9
DECKER 1-1 0-0 0 0 2
SCOTT 0-1 0-0 1 1 0
Totals 18-31 26-40 20 16 68
Percentages: FG .581, FT .650. 3-Pointer: 6-15 (Kellerman 3-4, Williamson 1-1, Scorza 1-2, Gonzalez 1-5, Scott 0-1, Saunders 0-2) Team Rebounds: 7.

LEBANON
Player FG-A FT-A R F PTS
BURTRON 6-13 5-8 8 1 18
ZIMMERMAN 4-8 5-5 3 4 14
REESE 3-6 1-2 3 4 7
FERRELL 1-5 0-0 3 4 5
JONES 1-1 0-0 0 1 2
JARRETT 3-9 0-0 1 4 8
NEWSOM 0-2 0-0 0 3 0
HARKER 0-0 0-0 1 3 0
CREW 0-0 0-0 2 4 0
Totals 18-44 11-15 21 28 54
Percentages: FG .409, FT .733. 3-Pointer: 4-14 (Jarrett 2-6, Burtron 1-1, Zimmerman 1-1, Newsom 0-1, Reese 0-2, Ferrell 0-3) Team Rebounds: 7.