DOVER - The last time Crawfordsville and Western Boone met, the Athenians hit a last second layup to win the game and earn a spot in the championship of the Sugar Creek Classic, sponsored by The Paper of Montgomery County, Franciscan Physician Network and Franciscan St. Elizabeth Health - Crawfordsville.

This time around, the Athenians must travel to Star-territory for a regular season meeting.

"They are extremely talented and make it difficult for match-ups," Crawfordsville head coach David Pierce said. "Riggs (Baxter) is a Division 1-caliber athlete and surrounded by a bunch of strong guards who's size, quickness, and toughness makes it really hard to guard them."

Pierce emphasized that mental focus would be crucial in countering the Western Boone (6-10, 1-3 SAC) attack.

"We have to be able to stay focused for long stints and strive to get stops for multiple possessions," Pierce said.

In the first meeting, the Athenians (4-11, 1-2 SAC) limited Baxter to six points and five shots. Kaleb McCloskey picked up the slack with 23 points, including five 3-pointers.

"We did a very good job of getting position to cause Riggs' aggressiveness to get him in foul trouble," Pierce said. "As for McCloskey, we didn't even try to guard him. We allowed him to play HORSE and he did a great job of hitting big shots.

"Our guys are doing a great job of coming together," he added. "When you mesh together 12 kids from 4 different grades, team chemistry can be a challenge. We have been blessed with great kids that care more about the team than their self.

The boys will play the second game of a varsity double header. The girls tip off at 6 p.m. at Western Boone and the boys will follow."