NORTH ROBINSON — Colonel Crawford’s boys basketball coach and athletic director knew what he was doing when he scheduled the Ontario Warriors at the tail-end of the regular season.
“They are a Division II team and we’re Division IV. I wanted to see what our team was made of heading into the postseason,” Sheldon said. “It was a great learning experience and it showed me what we still have to work on to make a long run in the tournament.”
Ontario proved to be a difficult task for the Eagles on Saturday, winning on Crawford’s home floor, 53-37.
The loss puts the Eagles at 16-5 on the season. Ontario also is 16-5.
The Warriors won the opening tipoff and wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as Quan Jackson recorded a quick lay-in on the offensive end. Ontario rode a 9-0 run to start the game before Gavin Feitchner hit a three-point bucket to end the Colonel Crawford drought. That bucket would be Feichtner’s only three points for the game. The first quarter would end with just one total foul called against Ontario, which occurred with 4.3 seconds remaining and with the Warriors up by a tally of 17-8. In fact, Crawford played nearly 12 minutes of foul-free basketball to start the game. The Eagles continued to struggle with the full-court pressure applied by the Warriors and headed into halftime with seven turnovers, 29-13. At the break, the Eagles were shooting just 25 percent from the field at 5/20, with all three of their interior baskets coming from 6’10” big man, Heath Starkey.
In the third quarter, put up an additional 21 points while holding the usual potent offense of Crawford to just eight.
Colonel Crawford did show some life in the final quarter of play. Harley Shaum pounded the post to get to the free throw line and the defense tightened. However, despite the 16-3 quarter in favor of the home team, it would be too much, too late.
For the contest, Colonel Crawford finished 11/25 (44%) from the interior, 3/12 (25%) from downtown and 6/11 (55%) from the charity stripe. As a team, the Eagles grabbed 21 rebounds, recorded five steals, dished six assists and had six blocks and committing an uncharacteristic 14 turnovers.
Starkey would finish the game as the leading scorer for Crawford with 14 points and another double-double. Starkey grabbed 10 rebounds and had five blocks. Cameron McCreary was the only other Eagles player in double figures with 10 points. Harley Shaum had five points in the loss while Jordan Fenner chipped in three points. Reis Walker wrapped the Crawford scoring with two points.
Ontario shot 20/44 (45%) against the Eagles, including 4/14 (29%) from the perimeter while converting on nine of 10 free throws on the night. The Warriors would outrebound Crawford (26-21) and turn the ball over just nine times on the offensive side of the court.
Leading the Ontario scoring attack was Jackson Todd. Todd finished the evening with 19 points. Logan Jones contributed 12 points and Trey Jordan hit double figures with 10 points to aide in the Warriors’ victory.
Just one game remains before the sectional tournament begins for the Colonel Crawford Eagles. On Friday Feb. 24, the Eagles will hit the road to finish off their season against undefeated, N-10 champion Upper Sandusky Rams.