A large crowd filled Colonel Crawford’s Morrison Gymnasium to see a late season afternoon contest between the Lady Eagles and the Lady Rams from Upper Sandusky. The Eagles, long out of contention in the Northern 10 Athletic Conference, put up a strong effort but came up on the short end of a 60-51 final score.
Colonel Crawford, which never led in the game, managed to stay competitive until the end because of its defense and ability to hit 3-pointers.
Colonel Crawford made eight 3-pointers, all in the second half. Guard Alexis Burkhart led the Eagles with 21 points, 18 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Upper Sandusky jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Colonel Crawford called a time out. The Lady Eagles didn’t have an answer for the Lady Rams size and athleticism the entire first half.
“Upper Sandusky is good,” said Colonel Crawford head coach Kyle Fenner. “They have a 6 feet one inch point guard (Sierra Carey), (Abigail) Fogle is a great shooter – best shooter in our league and (Megan) Hensel is athletic and quick and can shoot the ball from the outside.”
With Upper Sandusky leading 24-13 at the start of the third quarter the Lady Eagles came out firing. Burkhart, Abigail Fogle and Ashley Gwirtz combined for five 3-point buckets and 17 points in the period as they tried to cut the deficit.
The long-range scoring was not enough as Upper Sandusky was patient in its half-court offense and took advantage of scoring opportunities near the basket against multiple defensive looks from the Eagles.
“We switched it up throughout the game – some man and some 1-3-1 zone, probably more man,” Fenner said.
The Lady Eagles fourth quarter effort knocked Upper Sandusky’s lead to five, 55-50, with 1:04 left in the game. But, a coast-to-coast driving lay-up by Carey put Upper Sandusky back on top by seven, with :50 on the game clock.
Colonel Crawford was hit with its tenth team foul at the 3:02 minute mark of the fourth quarter. Playing from behind they were forced to foul.
“We were behind and we had to be aggressive and we needed the ball,” Fenner said. “I told the team if we foul we foul, we need the ball to get back in the game.”
The Lady Rams made nine of 12 attempts from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Heading into the final week of the regular season Fenner was optimistic with the Eagles performance and outlook for the future.
“I thought we competed today, especially in the second half,” she said. “We have to keep getting better for the tournament.”
Colonel Crawford plays its final regular season game next week against Northern 10 leader Carey.
“We’ve got Carey coming in here on Tuesday and we’ve got to compete against them and continue to get ready for the tournament, that’s where we’re at,” said Fenner.
Following that contest the Eagles have a week before their sectional game against Collins Western Reserve. The week off should help the Eagles, according to Fenner.
“The week off is good for us, we can watch film and get healthier,” she said.
In addition to Burkhart’s 21 points Ashley Gwirtz scored 10 points and Abbi Teglouia posted nine points.
Hensel led Upper Sandusky with 20 points with Fogle adding 13 points,while Carey contributed 12 points.
Colonel Crawford falls to 6-12 overall and 3-10 in the Northern 10 Conference.