NEW WASHINGTON — It’s a lot more fun when the shots fall.
And the New Washington Mustangs had a lot more fun Tuesday night in their matchup with visiting Providence, capturing a 49-35 win.
The hosts nailed 10 of 23 3-point attempts in the win, which ended a six-game losing streak, and led by as many as 22 points over the Pioneers. In the meantime, Providence could only muster one first-half field goal and only converted 3 of 24 (12.5 percent) shots beyond the arc.
Pretty much, everything that could have went wrong for the Pioneers did from the outset. New Washington guard Adrian Miles nailed three consecutive 3-pointers in the first 90 seconds, and that outburst helped the Mustangs gain a 16-2 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the Pioneers received their lone first-half field goal — a putback from Kaylee Kaiser — 12 seconds before intermission. Providence committed nine turnovers in the first half and shot just 9.1 percent (1-for-11) from the field as the hosts went into halftime leading 27-7.
“For my kids, that was a really good early confidence boost,” New Washington coach Kirsti Holloway said. “We’ve kind of been on a roller coaster with our shooting. To have multiple people knocking down shots, it opens up things in the paint — it allowed us to stretch out their defense, and that was huge.”
Providence senior forward Natalie Boesing came into the contest averaging 24 points and 11 rebounds per game. She finished with 16 points (on the strength of 8 for 12 shooting from the foul line) and eight rebounds, but they were hard-earned.
Boesing was double- and triple-teamed throughout, and virtually everywhere she went on the offensive side of the ball she was met with contact and physical defense.
“We have to have other kids step up to hit some of those outside shots,” Providence coach Brad Burden said. “Teams sometimes will put five kids in the paint, because that’s where they know we like to score. But we have to have that balance. They played us very smart.”
New Washington led 43-19 early in the fourth quarter, after Miles hit her fifth 3 and Taylor James followed by sinking 1 of 2 free throws. After that, Providence began finding Boesing. She scored 10 points during a 16-0 run that saw the Pioneers trim the Mustangs’ lead to 43-35 with 2:30 to play.
But, following a timeout, Mackenzie Krouse scored inside to end the New Wash drought, and the Mustangs held Providence scoreless over the final two minutes.
“I was proud of the way we finished,” Holloway said. “If we’re going to be competitive throughout the rest of the season, we need to be able to finish off an opponent when we have the opportunity.”
Miles led all scorers with 17 points while James added 16 for New Washington (7-11), which plays at Switzerland County at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
Kaiser added 11 points for the Pioneers (9-9), who travel to Charlestown at 7:30 p.m. Friday night.