By JOSEPH ADAMS
Like it did in their first meeting, the 37th annual Charlestown Holiday Tournament championship game between Silver Creek and the host Pirates came down to a single point.
In an earlier matchup this season, Silver Creek squeaked by Charlestown, 47-46 on Dec. 8.
Once again, it was the Dragons getting by the Pirates in a game that came down to the wire, 33-32 to decide the holiday tournament.
Alex Tinsley, who was named tournament MVP, finished with 15 points and eight rebounds to lead Silver Creek, which won its 14th holiday tournament championship.
With 48.3 seconds left, Charlestown forced a Silver Creek turnover and Kaitlynn Henning made a layup on the other end to pull the PIrates within a point at 31-30.
On the next possession Charlestown caused a 10 second violation and called a full timeout.
After the timeout, the Pirates got the ball to leading scorer Justice Burdin, who missed from inside the lane.
“When the game is on the line, we want her to have it,” Charlestown assistant coach Robbie Gullion said of Burdin. “Unfortunately, tonight it just didn’t go down.”
With 19 seconds left Silver Creek got the ball to Casie Toby, who didn’t take a field goal attempt all night, but she was fouled.
Stepping to the line shooting one-and-one, Toby knocked down both free throws.
“I was saying, ‘Just make it, just make it,’ and she stepped up and hit very clutch free throws when we needed it,” Silver Creek coach Scott Schoen said of Toby.
Henning drove into the lane and scored with 4.8 seconds to play to cut the Dragons’ lead to 33-32. On the next possession, the Pirates fouled Lexi McFarland, who missed the front end of the one-and-bonus.
Emily Young called timeout, and with 3.1 seconds to play, Jasmine Harvey tried a half-court shot, but it fell short.
In the first quarter, both teams appeared happy to play at a slow pace and neither team could get open looks to fall down.
Charlestown (3-8) began to attack the rim, causing the Dragons to have early foul trouble and helping the Pirates score from the free throw line, but Silver Creek led 8-7 after the first stop.
After the opening quarter, both teams came out firing on all cylinders. Both began hitting open looks and the pace quickened and both teams pressured full court and sped up the game.
Fortunately for the Pirates, Henning was aggressive on offense and went to the line multiple times and had her shot falling. She finished with a game-high 16 points.
The lead went back and forth with an exchange of baskets and, with a 14-12 advantage in the second quarter, the Pirates went into halftime leading 21-20. It was their final lead of the night.
Silver Creek (8-2) came out in the second half and continued their pressure on Charlestown sophomore forward Justice Burdin.
“We wanted to make sure everytime she caught it, she was having to shoot over top of us,” Schoen said.
Burdin finished with 6 points, well below her season average.
Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter with Silver Creek going into the fourth with a 3-point lead, 25-22.
Silver Creek will participate in the Rumble on the River in Hanover on Dec. 28 and 29, opening with Fishers. Charlestown’s tough schedule continues when it hosts Jeffersonville on Jan. 3.
After trailing crosstown rival Clarksville 16-11 at halftime, Providence held the Generals to two second-half points to win the consolation game, 26-18.
The Pioneers, who were led by Meredith Endris with 10 points, outscored Clarksville 8-0 in the third quarter and 8-2 in the fourth to improve to 7-5 overall.
Nichole Tucker added five points and Lillian Hughes four for Providence.
Haley Jenkins had a team-high seven points for Clarksville, which drops to 3-9 with the loss. Gabby Evans finished with five.
The Generals host Mid-Southern Conference leading Scottsburg on Jan. 3, a night before Clarksville and Providence meet again in their scheduled regular-season matchup.