BOWLING GREEN — Colonel Crawford is now just one game away from a state final-four appearance. Wednesday evening, the Eagles defeated Harvest Prep 55-46. Eagles (26-0) are heading to their first regional final game ever.
Through three quarters, Colonel Crawford allowed just 26 points. A testament to their defense, one they’ve leaned on all year.
“We were very good defensively. We were locked in,” Colonel Crawford head coach David Sheldon said following the game.
Eagles were led in scoring by Mason Studer, who poured in 19 points. Carter Valentine was next up with 16 points, a much needed bounce-back game for the senior.
“(Carter) Valentine was outstanding. There’s no one I’m more happier for than Carter Valentine. He had a tough district tournament, he really stepped up tonight,” Sheldon said.
Braxton Baker scored 11 points, nailing a pair of three-pointers as well.
Adonus Abrams led Harvest Prep in scoring with 17 points. Brandon Roddy added 14 points and Nyelle Shaheed pitched in 12 points.
Colonel Crawford and Harvest Prep came together for an even first quarter. Eagles picked up a late technical in the quarter, Harvest Prep connected on free throws, it was 8-all after eight minutes.
Eagles were able to get going in the second quarter. Valentine was able to get going with eight points, Studer added five points as well. Colonel Crawford led the Warriors 26-16 at halftime.
Roddy scored eight points in the first half for the Warriors, to keep them within striking range.
Colonel Crawford gained a ton of momentum in the third quarter, where they gained a 43-26 lead. Valentine added nine more points in the quarter.
Eagles outscored the Warriors 17-10 in the third quarter.
Harvest Prep gave the Eagles one last punch in the final quarter, cutting it to just a four point lead at one point.
“I said guys, this is where you run through the wall. You’ve got to be tough and strong with the ball,” Sheldon told his team.
Abrams gave it his all in the final quarter, where he scored 12 of his 17 points.
“Everything has to be a great shot with a lead like that, the problem was we had some turnovers. We just went in a spurt, that’s credit to Harvest Prep,” Sheldon explained.
Down the stretch clutch free-throw shooting tied the strings for Colonel Crawford.
“They came down and made some big shots against us. You know a team like that is going to make a run, with a time of left.”
Harvest Prep finishes the season 21-4, despite a relatively young roster.
“That’s a very good basketball team and a very good program. They have a historical program, we’ve seen their success in the tournament,” Sheldon said of the Warriors.
The Eagles will play in the Division III Regional Final at Bowling Green on Saturday. Colonel Crawford will play Ottawa-Glandorf for a chance to go to Dayton. These two teams last met in 2020, in the regional semi-final. Ottawa-Glandporf defeated Eastwood 61-56 to advance to the regional final.