By HANSON CRAFTTON
HENRYVILLE — The Providence Pioneers took home the Henryville Tipoff Tournament championship Saturday taking down the tournament host Hornets, 63-37.
Providence used a swarming defense and put constant pressure on the Hornet ball handlers and was chasing down loose balls and rebounds.
“Providence completely out-worked us the entire game.” Henryville coach Josh Conrad said. “They were getting defections, offensive rebounds and wide open shots while we settled for lob passes and contested running jumpers.”
The first half was a back and forth battle. The Pioneers kept a small lead for most of the half but were never able to distance themselvesfrom the Hornets.
Henryville stayed in the game with a couple of runs in timely situations.
At the end of the first half, Providence took a slim 24-22 lead to the half despite two big 3-pointes from Hornet sophomore Emily Hollis that appeared to give Henryville the momentum heading into the second half.
Hollis finished with a team-high 15 points and hit three 3-point baskets.
“We were trying extend our lead before the half,” Pioneer coach Brad Burden said. “Hollis made some key shots right at the end of the half, so we were a little heated at halftime.”
Providence came out and grabbed the momentum right at the start of the second half with defensive tenacity. The Pioneers’ tempo appeared to wear down the Hornets.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” Burden said. “Our defense plays with speed and intensity. We have so many bodies that it allows us to put a lot of pressure on teams and it wears them down.”
Providence took control of the game when junior Michaela Hoke had four steals on consecutive Hornet positions ending a third quarter. Providence outscored Henryville 21-10 to jump out to a 45-32 lead.
The fourth was much of the same as Providence continued to attack and made it difficult for Henryville to shots off. Pioneer freshman Claire Rauck started to catch fire along with senior Taylor Smallwood to put the game out of reach.
Smallwood finished with a game-high 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and three assists. Rauck scored 14 and fellow-freshman Bayley Wade finished with nine.
Henryville sophomore Emma Hendricks led all players with 10 rebounds in the Hornets’ first loss of the season.
Providence (4-0) will stay busy next week with it hosts Madison Shawe (1-3) on Tuesday and New Albany on Friday in the Bulldogs’ opener before going to Eastern (2-0) on Saturday.
The 3-1 Hornets host New Washington on Friday in their Southern Athletic Conference opener. It is their only game in the next 12 days.
PROVIDENCE 63, HENRYVILLE 37
Providence 14 10 21 18—63
Henryville 7 15 10 5—37
Providence (4-0): Taylor Smallwood 19, Claire Rauck 14, Bayley Wade 9, Michaela Hoke 8, Olivia Jenkins 7, Lillian Hughes 6.
Henryville (3-1): Emily Hollis 15, Emma Hendricks 7, Haley Huddleston 6, Lesha Dallas 5, Abbi Robertson 2, Hannah Nunn 2.
3-point field goals: Providence 3 (Hollis 3); Henryville 8 (Hoke 2, Wade 2, Smallwood 2, Rauck 2).
Rebounds: Providence 26 (Smallwood 7); Henryville 25 (Hendricks 10).
Assists: Providence 14 (Jenkins 4); Henryville 6 (Spears 3).
Steals: Providence 12 (Hoke 5); Henryville 6 (Hollis 2, Robertson 2).
Blocks: Providence 1 (Rauck); Henryville 1 (Hendricks).