Sometimes it’s not about how you finish, but about how you start.
The Crothersville boys basketball team scored two points in the first quarter against visiting Austin on Tuesday and couldn’t muster a comeback as they dropped their home-opener 74-33.
From the start, Eagles senior Markus Fleenor was on fire. The guard started the game by drilling a 3-point basket.
Following a basket from junior point guard Brady White, Fleenor scored seven straight points for the Eagles.
Fleenor led all scorers with
27 points on the night for the Eagles.
After the first quarter, the Tigers trailed the Eagles 17-2. The Tigers went 0 for 4 from the free-throw line and managed to get two points from junior Conner Adams at the 5:32 mark.
In the second quarter, the Eagles outscored the Tigers 15-10 to take a 32-12 lead at halftime.
The Tigers turned the ball over on their first four possessions of the second quarter before junior Eli Mollet sunk a mid-range jumpshot with 2:18 on the clock.
“We couldn’t score the basketball,” Tigers coach Greg
Kilgore said. “I really thought we defended them well the first half. Austin is a good team. I figured if we kept them to the 15 to 17 point range in each quarter we would be in good shape. I wouldn’t have dreamed we would score two.”
Throughout the game, the Eagles relied on a full-court press defense to put pressure on the Tigers’ ball-handlers.
The Tigers finished with 21 total turnovers on the night.
“They got us in trouble a little bit,” Kilgore said. “It’s hard to find positives in a 44-point game. We got to get some of our starting guys rebounding better. My two starting guards and my wing player had more rebounds than my post players combined.”
Fleenor added another six points in the third quarter, as the Eagles led the Tigers 53-21 after 24 minutes of play.
The Eagles were able to coast in the fourth quarter to seal their season-opening win.
The Tigers will face Orleans on Saturday.
“The bad thing for us is we had Austin tonight and we play Orleans on Saturday,” Kilgore said. “We don’t get anything easy in the beginning of the year in the first few games. I just hope the kids don’t get too disheartened from losses this early in the year. I told them that we’re zero and one whether we lost in overtime or by
Kilgore said the team will need to grow in experience this season.
“At smaller schools its kind of a cycle,” Kilgore said. “We need to build experience again. When you have 50 to 60 boys to choose from in the high school you need to make do with what you got.”