By JON REITER
After falling behind Class 2A No. 17 Crawford County 10-4 midway through the first quarter of Tuesday’s road contest in Marengo, Providence scored 11 straight points and took the lead for good in a 47-34 victory.
Following up on his career-high 28 points against Jeffersonville on Saturday, George Knott led the Pioneers with 11 points. Dalton Duley added nine and Nano Grantz added eight for the balanced Pioneers.
Knott and Duley scored nine of Providence’s 11 points during the 11-0 run and Grantz was 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
“This game was eerily similar to last year’s regular season 15-point win over Crawford County,” Providence coach Lou Lefevre said. “But when we played them in the sectional championship last year, it was a different story. They built a 12-point lead early and we had to scramble for a comeback win in the fourth quarter.”
After two wins over Clarksville in the past couple of weeks, most would certainly classify Class 2A No. 4 Providence (11-1) the favorites to repeat as the Sectional 46 champions after the win over 10-3 Crawford.
Lefevre isn’t one of them.
“Easy wins over good sectional opponents during the season often come back to haunt you in the post season, and that is always something to be very concerned about,” he said.
After leading 13-10 at the end of the opening quarter, Providence outscored the Wolfpack 9-2 in the second quarter to take a 24-12 lead into the halftime break.
In the second half, the Pioneers built their lead to as many as 16 at 35-19 at the end of the third quarter.
For the first time this season, Providence was out-rebounded. The Wolfpack held a 24-18 advantage on the boards.
The victory came on the heels of Providence’s first loss of the season. Darryl Baker’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Class 4A No. 13 Jeffersonville a 59-56 victory over the Pioneers on Saturday.
“You always hope a loss is going to make kids dig down deeper and get more intense,” Lefevre said, “but I think the kids got so much praise after the loss that it was almost like coming off a win. It wasn’t the normal ‘re-evaluate yourself and get on a new path’ loss.”
Crawford’s Jordan Nickelson led all scorers with 12 points.
Providence travels to Henryville on Friday to face the winless Hornets.
PROVIDENCE 47, CRAWFORD COUNTY 34
Providence 13 11 11 12—47
Crawford Co. 10 2 7 15—34
Providence (11-1): Nano Grantz 8, Jacob Quinkert 2, Ben Shahroudi 3, Ryan Pickerrell 7, Cory Cahalan 7, George Knott 11, Dalton Duley 9.
Crawford County (10-3): Brandon Cate 1, Jacob Mauck 2, Braydon Barron 6, Jordan Nickelson 12, Zack Thomas 4, John Schwartz 9.
3-point field goals: Providence 2 (Cahalan, Duley); Crawford County 4 (Barron 2, Nickelson 2).
Free throws: Providence 13-16, Crawford County 10-14.