By GREG BURTON
Special to Southern Indiana Preps
CLARKSVILLE — A letdown after a huge win is not uncommon in high school basketball. Often it is to be expected.
For Providence, coming off a great road win Friday night at Class 2A No. 7 Triton Central, the tiredness came on Saturday afternoon. The Pioneers were hosts to Austin in a 1:30 p.m. start, and the heavy legs and the off-shooting day were obvious.
Nevertheless, Providence (9-10) made a good show of it before falling at the end, 37-30.
“We had it cut down right at the end, but we just didn’t have the legs,” said Providence coach Brad Burden.
Providence trailed the entire way, falling behind, and then trimming the lead. Every time, Austin (6-15) survived the comeback and pulled away again.
In the final quarter, it appeared as if the Pioneers were finally going to be successful at overtaking the Eagles. With 4:15 to play, Providence trailed just 31-30 and had opportunities to take the lead.
This final, almost-successful turnaround came because of tremendous defensive pressure applied by Providence in the second half. This resulted in numerous steals and points scored as a result.
“Defensively, we had plenty of steals and transition,” said Burden. “The girls played out of their minds (Friday) night, and we didn’t get home until 12:30 (a.m.). I’m so proud of the way they played today.”
Austin had outscored Providence in each of the first three quarters, and at times appeared to be on the verge of splitting the game wide open. The resilient Pioneers never let that happen, however, and always remained within striking distance.
After the lead had been cut to a single point in the final quarter, Austin scored the final six points of the game to get the win.
Natalie Boesing paced Providence with 14 points. The long-armed sophomore played the point of the half-court defense and got her hands on passes on numerous occasions. Many of those resulted in easy buckets for the Pioneers.
Addison Brasher led Austin with 15 points, while Grace Igleheart pumped in 14.
Providence has played its last three games without the benefit of leading scorer Hannah Wolford, who suffered an injury the week before against Charlestown. Burden has high hopes for his club, with the Class 2A Austin Sectional coming up and the return of Wolford.
“Once we get Hannah back, we’ll be a team to deal with,” said the Providence coach.
Providence will play at fellow Austin Sectional member Crawford County (12-7) on Tuesday night, tipping off at approximately 7:30.
Austin had a doubleheader on Saturday, playing at home in the evening against Crothersville. The Eagles won that game as well, 59-49 and moved to 7-15 on the season. They will play at Shawe Memorial (6-14) at about 6:30 Wednesday night.
AUSTIN 37, PROVIDENCE 30
Austin 6 14 11 6—37
Providence 1 10 10 9—30
Austin (6-15): Jalen Coomer 0, Grace Igleheart 14, Misti Kimberlin 3, Addy Law 3, Addison Brasher 15, Lacey Hall 2, Olivia Miner 0, Abi Phillips 0.
Providence (9-10): Kaylee Kaiser 2, Sierra Brooks 6, Natalie Boesing 14, Brinley Prather 2, Brigid Welch 6, Bailey Brown 0.
Total fouls: Austin 13, Providence 14.
Fouled out: Providence - Kaiser.
Junior varsity: Austin 58, Providence 29.