With the game tied at 26 midway through the third quarter Tuesday at Rock Creek, Providence turned up its patented defense and came away with a 48-42 victory.
With just under four minutes to play in the third, the Pioneers forced four straight Rock Creek turnovers and took advantage on three of them to push the lead to 32-26 with 2:10 left in the period. An offensive putback by Daniel Schuler and two free throws by Juston Betz pushed the margin to 36-26 with 1:06 remaining in the third.
“We had that stretch there in the third where we didn’t give them anything easy,” Providence coach Lou Lefevre said. “We had some really good defensive stops.”
Lefevre also praised his team’s works on the boards in the second half, led by Schuler, who scored all six of his points in the second half.
“We had some guys come in the game and really play terrific,” Lefevre said. “We out-rebounded them in the second half and outworked them on the boards.”
“They were tougher than we were,” Rock Creek coach Chris Brown admitted. “We have big kids getting out-rebounded by kids six inches shorter than they are.”
The Pioneers came in shooting 47 percent from the foul line for the season, but on Tuesday, they were 13 of 16 from the stripe.
“We don’t win the game if we shoot our regular 40 percent,” Lefevre said.
Providence led 10-9 after the first quarter before Rock Creek tied the game at 22-22 at the half. Nick Hayes scored half of the Pioneers’ first-half points and 11 of his game-high 15 in the first 16 minutes. Devin Burt scored 10 of his team-high 12 in the first half.
Providence (10-5) is back in action Friday when it hosts 7-9 North Harrison. Also on Friday, the 9-8 Lions host Madison Shawe (1-17).
PROVIDENCE 48, ROCK CREEK ACADEMY 42
Providence 10 12 14 12—48
Rock Creek 9 13 6 14—42
Providence (10-5): Grant Goad 4, Juston Betz 3, Ben Shahroudi 5, Brock Hayden 3, Alex Judd 2, Daniel Schuler 6, Brad Koerner 5, Nick Hayes 15.
Rock Creek (9-8): Tanner Gerth 5, Devin Burt 12, Will Brown 7, Ronald Karenzi 3, Gedeon Nzombi 6, Jeremiah Wilkinson 3.
3-point field goals: Providence 1 (Hayden); Rock Creek 2 (Gerth, Brown).
Free throws: Providence 13-16, Rock Creek 8-16.