January 20 • 11:33 PM
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Wolfpack come up short to Tell City

The Crawford County Wolfpack had the visiting Tell City Marksmen on the ropes for much of their game Saturday night, but in the second half two big plays were the catalyst that pushed the veteran Marksmen squad over the top for a 70-65 win.

"If you go to the 'Y' and take a bunch of young college kids right out of college that think they're pretty good, and you play against a 30-year-old men's team that have been together for about eight or 10 years, they can't run and jump, but they know how to play. That's what will happen every time," Crawford coach Mike Brown said. "You may make some nice plays. You might stay close, but when it comes to the end and plays have to be made, they'll make them."

Crawford had a good start against the veteran Marksmen, who were loaded with eight seniors. The entire first quarter went back and fourth with five lead changes and five ties. Bo Benham and Ean Edward found their range, hitting three-balls to put Crawford up 14-11. Tell City's 6-5 senior Eric Henrickson hit twice in the paint, but Daniel Allen countered from behind the arc. The two teams traded points, but Jonathon Bowles got the last bucket of the quarter, Crawford going in front again 21-19.

Crawford County’s Jonathon Bowles snags this pass in front of Tell City’s Andy Chinn to force a turnover in the first half of the Wolfpack’s 70-65 loss to the Marksmen. (Photo by Wade Bell)
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Dustin Bowling put Crawford up by four to begin the second period, but Jay Ziegelgruber scored inside and Andy Chinn buried a three. Spencer Griswold got the next three Crawford baskets in a 6-1 burst that pushed the Wolfpack up by four.

That didn't last long, however, as Chinn buried another three. Joseph Kohnert found two singles to put Tell City back on top, but Evan Crecelius got a four-point play as he was fouled on a made three-pointer to put the Wolpack back in front, 33-30. Chinn answered with still another three to tie the game.

Bowling, however, scored late for Crawford, and the Wolfpack took a 35-33 edge to the locker room at the break.

"The first half I thought we did a lot of things we wanted to do," Brown said. "The things we prepared for we did a pretty honest job of."

"We wanted to run their big guy," the Crawford coach said. "We wanted to run him, and that's why we ran at such a fast pace to start the game. We wanted to either wear him down or get in a situation where we could (get) easy post shots off the break."

Allen got his second three of the night less than a minute into the third period to push Crawford's lead to five, 38-33. Crawford had a chance to lengthen that following two Tell City turnovers, but misfired on both possessions. Ziegelgruber found pay dirt with a short jumper, but Benham and Bowles flushed a single and deuce, respectively, to push the Crawford lead to six.

Chinn hit from behind the arc again, but Crawford's Ryan Griffith later scored inside for a 48-43 Wolfpack lead. However, Tell City's Evan Rothgerber used a Griffith foul for two uncontested points.

The last few seconds of the period saw missed shots and turnovers by both teams. Crawford called timeout with a second left in the period, but the Wolfpack threw the ball away on the inbounds play, with no time running off the clock. Tell City then found Chinn in the left corner for a three-pointer to tie the game at 48.

"The three at the end of the quarter was huge," Brown said. "You have these little things you talk about in practice that don't seem to mean a whole lot until that happens. From day one, one of the things we've always talked about is, on any side out-of-bounds, you're guarding the inbounder you take the corner pass away. … It's a six-point turnaround."

Crawford kept its composure through the early minutes of the fourth period with a 6-2 burst to take a 54-50 lead. The next big play, however, came when Chinn hit Kohnert on an alley-oop pass for a two-handed dunk. That sparked the Marksmen, who scored the next three points for a 56-54 lead.

"The dunk is worth two," Brown said. "When that happens, you walk it up the floor. You let them settle down a little bit. You settle down a little bit. No matter how spectacular it is, it's two points. We rush it up the floor and try to get something back in a hurry. They take it away, and now they're gone again."

Benham tied the game again with two free throws, and then with 1:40 to go in the game the Marksmen responded as Rothgerber drilled a three and Ryan Zuelly scored in the paint. Tell City continued the 9-1 run to lead 65-57 with just over a half-minute to go.

Crawford got late three-pointers from Benham and Curl, but the Wolfpack ran out of clock and fell, 70-65.

"If you let somebody come in on your floor, with the kind of team they have and the experience they have, and give you a three-minute game with the game tied, you're going to struggle," Brown said. "We had times where we really could have put them away and got ourselves some distance. We let them off the hook."

Benham led the Wolfpack (5-6) with 18 points, and Bowling dropped in 10. The Wolfpack were 22 of 49 (44 percent) from the field and connected on 12 of 16 free-throw attempts. Crawford had 18 turnovers.

"We never said it would be easy. We've only got one or two guys that played any varsity minutes last year. Bowling played in the sectional but didn't play much rest of the year. We're learning the hard way," Brown said.

Chinn led the Marksmen (11-2) with 22 points and connected on six threes. Zuelly finished 14, and Kohnert and Henrickson had 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Marksmen were 20 of 44 (45 percent) from the field and 21 of 27 from the stripe. Tell City committed 12 turnovers.

"It's a step back, because if we're going to get anything done this year, we have to start winning these games," Brown said. "They're in their third game of the week. We're in our first. We've had plenty of time to get ready to set up for us to knock them off.

"It's going to setback for us from here on out. We had a chance against a good team, a quality team we let it slip away.

"On the other hand, early in the season we wouldn't have been close to this team. Execution-wise, we did some things very well tonight. Offensively, the things we worked on against them, we got some mismatches and caught them in some switches where we had some easy baskets. That's a positive. Playing close to them is a positive. We're not here for that, that's for sure. I'm done playing close. We should have had this one."

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