With a relatively young group of players — and three seniors mixed in — the Crothersville boys basketball team aimed to turned some heads in the opening round of the Orleans sectional Tuesday.
Despite a strong first quarter, the Tigers gave up far too many offensive rebounds and turnovers as they fell 68-43.
In the first quarter, the Tigers opened on a 5-0 run behind a free throw by Dakota Mount and baskets from Jordan Schoenfelder and Conner Adams.
The Tigers extended their lead to 10-4 following a Tyler Luedeman 3-pointer with 5:17 on the clock.
“We were getting up the floor and running the ball and also pressing,” Tigers coach Greg Kilgore said.
A 9-0 run gave the Senators a 13-10 lead, but the Tigers traded baskets the remainder of the quarter.
With two seconds left in the first quarter, Noah Green caught an outlet pass for a layup to give the Senators a 19-16 lead after eight minutes of play.
Things went sour for the Tigers offense following the first.
The Senators built a 34-22 lead in the second quarter by going on a 15-3 run.
Schoenfelder scored the final basket of the first half to bring the score to 34-26 in the Senators’ favor at the half.
After halftime, the Senators turned to attack mode.
The Senators opened on an 11-0 run behind five points from sophomore Michael Sizemore.
The Tigers’ Schoenfelder snapped the cold-streak at 2:02 with a basket to bring the deficit to 46-28.
However, the Senators didn’t lose momentum as they scored 11 more points to maintain a 57-37 advantage after three quarters.
With a 20-point lead after 24 minutes of play, the Senators largely played possession ball for the remaining eight minutes.
Eli Mollet led the Tigers with 14 points, and Schoenfelder added 12.
Four players scored in double figures for the Senators, led by Green who scored 14.
The Senators dominated the battle of the boards with a 26-18 edge.
The Tigers finished with 24 turnovers to the Senators’ 15.
“We talked all week stressing boxing-out and keeping West Washington off the boards,” Kilgore said. “We struggled with that at Austin on Friday and threw up a red flag for us coaching staff. That was really the difference in the game. We gave them two to four extra shots.”
Dakota Mount, Schoenfelder and Clayton Byrd will graduate at the end of the school year.
“All three are tremendous kids,” Kilgore said. “That’s what hurts the most at the end of the season — losing them. They almost become a part of your family. They’ve meant a ton to the program. Not only are three good basketball players but also great students. I’ve told them all season long that they’re going to do much bigger things than high school basketball, but take what you learned from it with you.”
The Tigers finish 6-18.
“A lot of good young kids coming back next year,” Kilgore said. “We have a good core of juniors who will put in work this summer. Our 8th grade also went 16-5 this year. If we put the time in the gym we can be a good basketball team.”