By GREG BURTON
Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — “We started well. We played well from the get-go.”
Providence coach Rob Murawski summed up his team’s performance at the Larkin Center on Saturday night succinctly. His Pioneers picked up their first win of the season in a demonstrative manner, easily dispatching visiting Scottsburg 62-40. The win moved Providence to 1-2 on the season.
Providence jumped on the Warriors from the opening tip, building a quick 10-2 lead, and the Pioneers never looked back thereafter.
By the end of the first quarter, Providence had built a 17-6 margin, and the Warriors managed only once for the remainder of the game to cut the deficit to fewer than 10 points at 17-8.
Murawski has been pleased with his team’s offense throughout the first three games, and he has no worries about that. The other side of the ball is what concerns him.
“Offensively, we do well,” he said. “We’re getting everybody touches, unlike what we did early at Austin. We would have had more if we hadn’t gone 11-of-20 from the free throw line.
“Offensively, we’re OK, but I think it’s more of a defensive thing. We didn’t play well defensively in the fourth quarter. We changed defensive philosophies at the beginning of the year to kind of fit what we have instead of sticking with what we’ve done the last three years. That’s fully on me. I should’ve continued doing what I know, and we would be better defensively at this point.”
Scottsburg, which dropped to 0-5 to start the season, had no answer for an inside-outside combination from Providence guard Cullen Ebert and big men Blake Murphy and Reece Libs. Ebert drained four 3-pointers en route to a 19-point night, while Murphy added 14 points and Libs had 10.
In addition, a balance by the other players found Scottsburg without a remedy for the entire game.
Providence’s Hayden Burke finished with seven points. Teammates Austin Barnett and Nick Sexton each scored six. Sexton’s points all came off the bench.
Libs, Burke, and Murphy have form a tough group to combat underneath for the Pioneers.
“We’ve got big boys. They’re big, they’re strong, they’re athletic. We’ve got to keep Reece out of foul trouble, though,” Murawski said.
In accumulating his 10 points, Libs spent considerable time on the bench with foul difficulties. He finished with four fouls.
The Pioneers did well not turning the ball over as well. They committed just eight turnovers for the game, compared to 20 for Scottsburg.
Late in the second period, Providence had extended its lead to 21 points at 33-12, and led at the intermission 33-15. The lead remained around 20 and got as high as 23 throughout the third quarter.
The last quarter, however, Scottsburg was able to cut into the deficit somewhat, getting as close as 16 at 49-33. Providence responded to keep the Warriors at bay.
Providence will play a doubleheader at home next weekend, with a challenge on Friday night against Class 4A No. 14 Floyd Central (4-0), which knocked off Class 4A No. 1 New Albany in overtime last Friday night 49-47. The Pioneers will then play Charlestown (2-5) next Saturday.“Right now, my hope is that we’ll have a full team for practice on Monday,” said Murawski, whose team has battled sickness early in the season. “We’ve got to come in Monday and get better ourselves. We’ll worry Thursday about the two games we’ve got coming up.”
PROVIDENCE 62, SCOTTSBURG 40
Scottsburg 6 9 13 12—40
Providence 17 16 14 15—62
Scottsburg (0-5): Mitchell Prince 13, Bradley Whitler 1, Treyton Owens 15, Bradley Deaton 3, Nicholas Sebastiao 8, Patrick Lincoln 0, Ethan McGinnis 0, Jerred Lewis 0, Brent Strobl 0.
Providence (1-2): Cullen Ebert 19, Sterling Huber 0, Austin Barnett 6, Reece Libs 10, Blake Murphy 14, Nick Sexton 6, Hayden Burke 7, Aiden Finnegan 0, Bishop Edwards 0, Alec Fougerousse 0.
3-point field goals: Scottsburg 4 (Prince 3, Owens 1); Providence 5 (Ebert 4, Murphy 1).
Turnovers: Scottsburg 20, Providence 8
Total fouls: Scottsburg 18, Providence 12.
Fouled out: Scottsburg - Sebastiao.
Junior varsity: Scottsburg 48, Providence 44.