NEW ALBANY —
After Tuesday’s embarrassing 68-45 loss to rival Silver Creek, all Providence coach Lou Lefevre wanted to see from his team on Friday at Christian Academy was a better effort.
He got it.
His Class 2A No. 10 Pioneers outscored the Class A No. 8 Warriors 24-5 in the fourth quarter for a 54-33 victory.
“The Silver Creek game, we got whooped,” Lefevre admitted. “We really weren’t playing any worse than we had been for the last half-dozen games. We just finally played a tough, hard-nosed team and we got killed. You always hope it’s a wake-up call and our effort was markedly better. I was hoping to see a really strong effort against a good team and we did.”
“They had a tough loss on Tuesday and they responded the way good, well-coached teams do,” Christian Academy coach Steve Kerberg said.
Nic Reed scored early in the fourth quarter to tie the contest at 30 apiece. From that point, Grant Goad and Nick Hayes took over and Providence (9-4) outscored the Warriors 24-3 the rest of the way.
Goad started a 6-0 run with four straight points. After CAI (9-4) got a free throw from James Martin, Providence went on another 6-0 run with four points from Hayes and two from Goad.
Christian Academy’s Aaron Eldridge hit a pair of free throws to make it 42-33 with 3:24 left. But the Pioneers went on a 7-0 run to put the game away.
Goad scored seven of his game-high 16 points in the fourth quarter.
“Goad was terrific the whole game,” Lefevre praised. “He played a smart game. Grant looked like a great leader in tonight’s game.”
Hayes scored six of his nine points in the fourth and made a couple of key hustle plays during the Pioneers’ game-clinching run.
“Nick Hayes made some tough moves, some good moves inside,” Lefevre said.
The Warriors, on the other hand, couldn’t hit anything in the fourth quarter. They didn’t make a basket over the final 7 minutes and 37 seconds. On one possession, they missed four shots, including three 3-point attempts.
“That’s the Providence that we’ve seen over the years,” Kerberg said. “Defensively, they did a great job on us tonight. I don’t think we did a good job of preparing these guys for what Providence brings to the table, but it’s hard to replicate in practice.”
With a balanced attack, Pioneers led 14-7 after one quarter. Shelby Rose scored all seven CAI points in the opening period and added four in the second as the Warriors went on an 11-2 run to take their first lead at 18-16.
“He did a great job,” Kerberg said of Rose. “One of our game plans was to balance the floor and get it inside. He did a great job in the first half.”
Providence closed the half by scoring the final four points for a 22-18 lead, but CAI opened the second half with seven straight points. Ben Shahroudi, who finished with 14 points for the Pioneers, scored out of a timeout with 3:10 left in the third to give Providence a 30-28 lead. It was the final scoring of the period.
“It was their best game of the year,” Lefevre said of his team. “We’re not really a top-10 ranked team. We’re not going to win a state championship, but if we get it together and go all out, we could be a good team. And who knows what could happen in a sectional?
“The final score here doesn’t indicated what kind of game this was. It was a close game the whole way. [CAI] has a nice team. But for the balance of the game, our effort was really good.”
Rose and Eldridge led CAI with 11 points apiece. Reed added eight for the Warriors, who will host Class 2A No. 8 Paoli (9-2) tonight.
Providence will take on rival New Albany (10-3) next Friday.
PROVIDENCE 54, CHRISTIAN ACADEMY 33
Providence 14 8 8 24—54
Christian Academy 7 11 10 5—33
Providence (9-4): Grant Goad 16, Juston Betz 3, Ben Shahroudi 14, Sean Morris 3, Nick Hayes 9, Dawson Mitchell 2, Brad Koerner 5.
Christian Academy (9-4): James Martin 1, Aaron Eldridge 11, Nic Reed 8, Shelby Rose 11, Conner Chalfant 2.
3-point field goals: Providence 1 (Morris); Christian Academy 2 (Eldridge 2).
Free throws: Providence 14-25, Christian Academy 5-8.
Personal fouls: Providence 12, Christian Academy 18.
Turnovers: Providence 9, Christian Academy 12.