News and Tribune

November 20, 2013

TEN TO WATCH: Providence girls off to blazing start

Unbeaten Pioneers have tough week ahead

By GREG MENGELT
greg.mengelt@newstribune.com

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.



THURSDAY

GIRLS — FLOYD CENTRAL (1-0) AT SCOTTSBURG (1-1)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: Tied, 5-5.

LAST YEAR: At Floyd Central 75, Scottsburg 73 (OT)

REASON TO WATCH: The Highlanders opened with a tough 77-69 win at Evansville Harrison. Scottsburg will provide another tough early road test for what should be one of the area’s best teams.

THE PICK: Floyd Central 59, Scottsburg 54.



FRIDAY

GIRLS — JEFFERSONVILLE AT SILVER CREEK

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: Jeffersonville 9-1.

LAST YEAR: At Jeffersonville 47, Silver Creek 37.

REASON TO WATCH: Jeff was dominant in its two wins over Harrison County schools. Silver Creek will probably provide the best opponent yet — until the next day, that is.

THE PICK: Jeffersonville 60, Silver Creek 48.



GIRLS — NEW ALBANY (0-0) AT PROVIDENCE (5-0)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: New Albany 9-1.

LAST YEAR: At New Albany 67, Providence 32.

REASON TO WATCH: Providence is 5-0, but because of its early schedule, there may still be some skeptics. A win over New Albany may convert some into believers.

THE PICK: New Albany 51, Providence 47.



GIRLS — NEW WASHINGTON (1-1, 0-0 SAC) AT HENRYVILLE (3-1, 0-0 SAC)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: New Washington 10-1.

LAST YEAR: At New Washington 68, Henryville 48.

REASON TO WATCH: It’s the Southern Athletic Conference opener for two teams that believe they are conference contenders. Expect the Mustangs to be angry after Tuesday’s home loss to Austin.

THE PICK: New Washington 69, Henryville 52.



GIRLS — CORYDON CENTRAL (1-0, 0-0 MSC) AT CHARLESTOWN (0-0, 0-0 MSC)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: Corydon 8-3.

LAST YEAR: At Corydon Central 47, Charlestown 31.

REASON TO WATCH: It’s the first game for the Pirates under head coach Michael Prichard. Prichard was not left with a bare cupboard. His Pirates should be good enough to compete with teams like Corydon in 2013-14.

THE PICK: Corydon Central 45, Charlestown 44.



SATURDAY

GIRLS — JEFFERSONVILLE (2-0, 0-0 HHC) AT BEDFORD NORTH LAWRENCE (2-0, 0-0 HHC)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: Jeffersonville 12-4.

LAST YEAR: Bedford North Lawrence 62, at Jeffersonville 46.

REASON TO WATCH: Top-ranked and defending state champion BNL will certainly provide a test for the Devils. It should be fun for Jeff fans to gauge just how far this year’s team has come under Mike Warren.

THE PICK: Bedford NL 71, Jeffersonville 45.



GIRLS — PROVIDENCE (5-0) AT EASTERN (2-0)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: Eastern 5-1.

LAST YEAR: Eastern 53, at Providence 33.

REASON TO WATCH: The game could feature two unbeaten teams, although both teams have tough tests on Friday night.

THE PICK: Eastern 51, Providence 43.



TUESDAY

BOYS — CLARKSVILLE (0-0) AT ROCK CREEK (0-0)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: Clarksville 6-0.

LAST YEAR: At Clarksville 67, Rock Creek 40.

REASON TO WATCH: These are two potential sectional champions. Clarksville should be the favorite in Class 2A despite losing Aidan McEwen, who is now playing at Taylor University; Rock Creek will have to get by defending state champion Borden in Class A, but the Lions may be big enough to unseat the champs.

THE PICK: Clarksville 70, Rock Creek 56.



BOYS — SILVER CREEK (0-0) AT HENRYVILLE (0-0)

TIME: 7:30 p.m.

LAST 10 YEARS: Silver Creek 10-0.

LAST YEAR: At Silver Creek 75, Henryville 24

REASON TO WATCH: It will be interesting to see the new-look Hornets after last year’s 0-20 campaign. Opening against West Clark rival Silver Creek won’t be easy. The Dragons should be one of the area’s most improved teams.

THE PICK: Silver Creek 68, Henryville 35.