NEW WASHINGTON — The first game of Tuesday night's Charlestown-New Washington doubleheader was decided in the final seconds.
The second contest was more clear-cut.
Lanae Crowe's late layin lifted the Pirates to a 61-60 overtime triumph over the Mustangs in the girls' matchup.
In the nightcap, a fast start helped the New Wash boys open up a lead they wouldn't relinquish en route to a 65-50 win over Charlestown in the season-opener for both.
GIRLS: CHARLESTOWN 61, NEW WASHINGTON 60 (OT)
The Mustangs led by one point at the end of the first, second and third quarters and by two points in the final half-minute of regulation before Peyton Crace's driving layup tied it at 52, sending the game to overtime.
The extra four minutes featured a whopping nine lead changes.
Mackenzie Krouse hit two free throws with 22.1 seconds to play to put New Wash up 60-59.
On Charlestown's ensuing possession, Jackie Biscardi drove toward the baseline before spinning back toward the lane, where she was met by a double-team. The senior then dropped the ball off underneath to a wide-open Crowe. The junior forward, who only checked into the game after Crace became the third Pirate to foul out moments earlier, banked in the game-winner with eight seconds left.
"When we drive it, that’s one of our spacing rules," Charlestown coach Scott Matthews described of the play. "We were hoping to get the ball at that point to Biscardi and she was supposed to be making the plays down the stretch, and she did."
The Mustangs tried to answer, pushing the ball upcourt, but Taylor James was whistled for a double-dribble with 2.1 seconds left.
The game ended on a sour note as Krouse and her teammate, Adrian Miles, collided while going for a steal as the clock ran out. Krouse laid on the ground for several minutes before being taken off the floor on a backboard. She was later transported to Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville.
Miles finished with a game-high 24 points on the strength of four 3-pointers and 8 of 10 shooting from the free throw line for the Mustangs, who went 27 for 35 from the charity stripe.
James tallied 12 while Krouse and Makynsie Barger added 10 apiece for New Wash (3-5).
Crace paced the Pirates with 17 points while Demaria King added 11 and Karston Watson 10. All three fouled out.
Biscardi added eight, all in the second half for Charlestown (3-3), which won its third straight game after losing its first three by an average of five points.
"We were fortunate to get away because we were 9 for 23 from the line, and in major foul trouble,” Matthews said after winning in the gym named for his father, long-time New Wash boys' coach Jim.
Both teams are back in action next week. The Mustangs play at Borden next Tuesday while the Pirates host Austin next Wednesday.
BOYS: NEW WASHINGTON 65, CHARLESTOWN 50
Mustangs coach Jonathan May nixed a recent pregame tradition and it appeared to help his team.
"I usually tell them every year, 'The first shot of the year you’re going to air-ball it. It’s probably going to go over the rim just because of your adrenaline.' And we've kind of done that for a couple years," May said. "So I thought, ‘Quit saying that junk and then maybe they won’t.’ So I didn’t mention it tonight."
Coincidentally, New Wash scored the first eight points of the game on the way to a 17-7 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
"We got some stops at the beginning and of course some times you’ve just got to get lucky and the other team misses some shots," May said. "So I think a combination of that, and us being able to get some easy buckets to drop there early, it helps. Especially the first game of the year, get those jitters out of the way."
The Mustangs led 33-23 at halftime and 48-35 at the end of the third quarter before increasing their advantage to 19 midway through the fourth.
Senior AJ Walter led a balanced New Wash attack with a game-high 17 points while also taking four charges on defense. Senior Jesus Diaz netted 15 points while freshman Matthew Arthur scored 14 and senior Josh Clemons tallied 10.
"I thought we did well," Diaz said. "There’s always going to be stuff that we could work on and stuff to improve on, but overall I think we did good for the first game."
"I’m pretty proud of the way we played in the first game," May added. "Defensively I wasn’t too happy with, there was probably five or 10 possessions where I thought we really broke down, and I thought there was a stretch there in the third quarter where we let fatigue dictate how we were playing. And some of the turnovers there at the end, we’ve got to clean those up. But that’s getting pretty picky there. I’m pretty proud of their effort and the way they played together."
Junior forward Kyle Craig scored 16 points to pace the Pirates, who had 19 turnovers — which New Wash turned into 19 points.
“We got beat by a more disciplined team tonight," said Sean Smith, who is in his first year of his second stint as Charlestown's head coach. "We’ve got a long way to go and we’ve got a lot of things to improve upon. That team’s been together for the last three years, basically for the most part, and they have a good feel for what to do and what each other can do and our team’s really pretty much just starting out.
“We see where we’re at and what we’ve got to improve upon. We’ve got a lot of little things that we’ve got to get better at. That certainly was the difference in the game. Little stuff, turnovers and they were able to [convert]. It seemed like every time we’d chip away, get it to like six, seven, eight points, and get back into it a little bit. We’d have a defensive breakdown, or we’d have a turnover by trying to force the issue. And then they would capitalize. Every time it seemed like they capitalized.”
New Wash (1-0) plays at Shawe Memorial at 7:30 p.m. Saturday night, while Charlestown (0-1) plays at Mid-Southern Conference rival Silver Creek next Tuesday.