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November 20, 2013

TEN TO WATCH: Providence girls off to blazing start

Unbeaten Pioneers have tough week ahead

CLARKSVILLE — Providence is 5-0 for the first time since its last above-.500 season when it 14-10 season in 2002-03 in its final season under Pam Hall.

The Pioneers beaten its five opponents by nearly 31 points per game, and on Monday, the Pioneers appeared in the Class 2A coaches’ poll for the first time in at least a decade.

Brad Burden has a young, talented team that has meshed quickly early in the 2013-14 campaign.

“This group has really bought into the team concept and everyone plays their roll,” Burden said.

The scoring role so far has gone to freshman Claire Rauck. The 5-foot-8 forward scored a school-record 33 points in her first varsity game. She’s joined by four other freshman who have contributed to the early success.

“They are very talented and very experienced for freshmen since they have played so much basketball through the Providence Girls’ Basketball Academy,” Burden said. “[We have] balance of talent through all our classes and the leadership of our juniors and seniors has enabled us to be successful. This is a very fun group to coach and I’m honored and blessed to get to go to work with them every day. They make my job easy.”

So far the Pioneers have rolled through five easy wins. Starting Friday, things get tougher. Providence hosts New Albany on Friday before Saturday’s trip to Pekin to face an Eastern team that is also unbeaten heading into a game at Borden on Friday.

“We always embrace the challenge of playing the big schools in our area,” Burden said of the matchup with rival New Albany. “We feel this will be a good measuring stick for our young team.”

GAME OF THE WEEK

BOYS — EASTERN AT BORDEN

DAY/TIME: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday

LAST 10 YEARS: Borden 79, at Eastern 76 (regular season); Borden 64, at Eastern 49 (Washington County Invitational).

LAST YEAR: Eastern 8-7.

REASON TO WATCH: Obviously, it’s the first Borden boys’ basketball game ever as state champions. And it won’t be an easy one. The Musketeers took Borden to overtime last season in the opener and it should be a tight one in front of a packed Borden gym in the opener.

THE PICK: Borden 62, Eastern 60.

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