> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
In Tuesday’s column, I said that we would learn a lot more about Jeffersonville’s boys’ basketball team after facing Kentucky No. 1 Ballard that night.
What we learned was that the Red Devils — even as a size-challenged team against a bigger, equally athletic squad — are going to be really, really good if they can hang on to the basketball.
Now it’s Providence’s turn to be in the spotlight. The Pioneers have waltzed through the first four games of the season against mediocre competition. Nothing against Austin, Scottsburg and Madison and their traditions, but none of those teams are going to challenge anyone any good this season. The Pioneers’ closest game this season is 24 points (three times).
This weekend, the Pioneers face a pair of rivals in Charlestown and Floyd Central on the road. While neither the Highlanders nor the Pirates will likely challenge Providence for the victory, these will be their two toughest challenges yet.
And there are even bigger tests upcoming for the Pioneers. They will likely face cross-town rival and fourth-ranked Clarksville two games in a row. First, odds are the Pioneers and Generals will face off in the Silver Creek Holiday Tournament championship game on Dec. 29, followed by a Jan. 4 showdown at Providence. Then there’s a showdown with Class 4A No. 12 Jeffersonville on Jan. 12.
Like Jeff, there’s no doubt the Pioneers are good. How good? We’ll know soon enough.
GAMES TO WATCH (WEEKEND)
GAME OF THE WEEKEND
BOYS — PROVIDENCE AT FLOYD CENTRAL
• Time/Day: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
• Records: Providence 4-0; Floyd Central 1-2.
• Rankings: Providence No. 8 Class 3A.
• Last year: At Providence 42, Floyd Central 25.
• Last 15 years: Floyd Central 8-7.
• Outlook: While the Providence big men have been doing the bulk of the scoring, Pioneers coach Lou Lefevre has been singing the praises of guards Nano Grantz and Cory Cahalan. If Grantz and Cahalan can handle Floyd’s defensive pressure, the Pioneers should pull away late for a fairly comfortable win. Through two games, it looked like Floyd might be capable of Providence-style defense. After giving up 88 points to New Albany, it doesn’t appear that the Highlanders will be able to lock down Providence enough to pull off an upset — even at home.
• Greg’s Pick: Providence 48, Floyd Central 41.