CROTHERSVILLE — A slow start to Friday night’s game doomed the Crothersville boys basketball team in an eventual 64-54 loss to Shawe Memorial.
The Hilltoppers jumped out to a 13-0 lead and Crothersville head coach Bryant Layman was not pleased with his team as he called a timeout.
“We came out flat,” Layman said. “I didn’t like anything about the way we played tonight. We didn’t move the ball right, we didn’t find our shooters.”
The Tigers finally found some offense to close the first period as Lucas Hilton scored two buckets inside and Beau Napier made a layup. The Hilltoppers led 19-6 at the end of the first.
Crothersville had a nice spurt in the second period when Preston West and Dirk Crater hit back-to-back 3-pointers, which cut the lead to 10.
But Shawe was able to extend it back out to 16 right before halftime, and then Elijah Plasse hit two free throws to make it 35-21 at the break.
Crothersville had multiple chances to get it within single digits in the third quarter after West scored a couple baskets to get the lead down to 10, but Shawe crashed the offensive glass hard and Philip Kahn III continued to score at will for the Hilltoppers.
“He’s their number one player, but we just played bad defense,” Layman said. “We beat ourselves.”
Kahn III stretched the lead back out to 16, but then Napier drilled a 3-pointer and West made an acrobatic layup in traffic to cut the deficit to 49-38 at the end of the third quarter.
For the first time since the first quarter, Crothersville cut it to single digits to begin the fourth quarter as West found Curtis Thompson on a fast-break to make it 49-41.
The Hilltopers extended it back out to 15 after that, but Crothersville once again clawed back. West made a layup to make it a six point game with 25 seconds to play, but it was too little too late for the Tigers, who showed tremendous fight after a slow start to get back into the game.
West led the team in scoring with 18 points. Napier scored 11, Thompson had 10, Crater finished with five, Hilton six and Plasse four.
Before the varsity game, Crothersville won the junior varsity game in exciting fashion.
The Tigers trailed 20-7 at halftime but rallied to tie the game up late in the fourth quarter.
The Tigers came up with a steal, which led to a Josh Reynolds layup with 17 seconds left to give the team a 32-30 victory.
The JV and varsity teams will be back in action later tonight at New Washington. Junior varsity will start at 6 p.m. with varsity to follow at about 7:30 p.m.
Layman hopes his team, now 0-4 this season, can come out with some more fire in tonight’s contest with the Mustangs.
“I think they have to find it for themselves,” Layman said. “There’s no right or wrong answer right now. They have to want it. They have to dig.”