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February 12, 2013

GREG'S PICKS: Mustangs, Pirates are putting together nice seasons

Rivals to square off tonight

> SOUTHERN INDIANA — When Charlestown and New Washington were scheduled to play in late November, there were a lot of questions about the Pirates and Mustangs.

Little was expected of either.

Charlestown had nice players returning in Chris Braun and Aaron Daniel, but had little experience otherwise. Braun and Daniel have been outstanding this season. I’m not sure anyone outside of coach Sean Smith and the Braun and Daniel families expected either to be as good as they have become as seniors.

Both are making serious cases to be News and Tribune All-Area first-teamers.

Then there’s New Wash. The Mustangs won only one game a year ago. They were beaten by at least 19 points on 14 occasions.

Last year’s 1-21 campaign came on the heels of 4-18 and 7-15 campaigns.

Sure, New Wash had quite a few players returning, but they were the same players that looked outmatched most of last season.

So who would have predicted that both teams would enter their delayed matchup (because of Charlestown’s football success) at .500 or above?

No one, that’s who.

Yet, the Pirates are 9-7 and the Mustangs 9-9 and are entering Tuesday’s contest with a three-game winning streak that includes an impressive 61-51 win at Lanesville.

Who are these Mustangs?

Smith and New Wash coach Jonathan May have done outstanding jobs in 2012-13. There’s no doubt of that. Same goes for the Charlestown and New Washington players.

There was obviously a lot of time put in over the summer with both teams. The effort is obvious now. The fact that New Wash-Charlestown is the Game of the Week proves that.

GAME OF THE WEEK

New Washington (9-9) at Charlestown (9-7), 7:30 p.m., Tuesday.

• Series last 15 years: Charlestown 23-6.

• Last year: Charlestown 66, at New Washington 46

• Analysis: As well as New Wash has played, I don’t expect this to be close. And even if it is, outside of Jeffersonville’s Darryl Baker, no two players have been more clutch than Charlestown’s Chris Braun and Aaron Daniel this season. They are two players any coach would love to have at “winning time.”

• Greg’s Pick: Charlestown 70, New Washington 50.

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