CLARKSVILLE, Ind. — Eastern Pekin and No. 4 Providence – playing the roles of sectional favorites – looked rather convincing in the first round of the Class 2-A Providence Sectional Tuesday night.
Eastern Pekin took control in the second quarter and cruised past Crawford County 51-32 in the opener, while Providence smothered Henryville 52-34 in the nightcap.
Eastern Pekin (17-7), winner of nine straight, will face Paoli (13-11) in the first semifinal Friday night at 6, followed by Providence (19-5) against Clarksville (3-21).
Eastern Pekin-Crawford County: The Musketeers put the defensive clamps on the Wolfpack (17-6), allowing just three points in the second quarter and then pulling away in the second half.
Rachel Stewart, who had eight steals, led Eastern Pekin with 17 points, scoring 15 of those after intermission.
Isabell Claywell added 16 points for the Musketeers and Taylor Drury had 10.
After seven straight points by Stewart midway through the third quarter, the Musketeers extended their lead to a game-high 36-14 with 3:07 left in the third.
“Defensively, we did a really good job in the second half and took them out of what they were doing,” said Eastern Pekin coach Mike McBride. “We didn’t make a ton of adjustments. We just did what we do … We’ve been really good defensively of late.”
McBride added, “I thought it was going to be a knock-down, drag-out. I just thought our defense set the tone in the second half.”
Carley Allen led Crawford County with 16 points.
Providence-Henryville: The Pioneers took control early, scored the first 16 points of the game and breezed past the Hornets (12-11).
Henryville hit just one of its first 20 shots, digging itself into a 29-3 hole. The Hornets finally hit a shot with 38 seconds left in the first half on Peyton Ottersbach’s 24-footer.
“We really defended well,” said Providence coach Brad Burden. “We got a lot of deflections and steals.”
Senior Claire Rauck helped the Pioneers get off to a good start. Rauck scored 11 of her game-high 17 points in the first half.
Providence led 29-5 at the half but, stuggled in the first few minutes of the third quarter. The Pioneers started the third quarter by committing six turnovers and hitting just 1 of 6 shots.
“You just have to come out ready to play, regardless of the score,” Burden said. “We have to come out ready to play to make sure we’re still sharp. That’s what we’re looking for.”
Darian Nipper led the Hornets with 15 points.
Hannah Wolford added 12 points for the Pioneers, who hit seven 3-pointers. “When we’re hitting ‘threes,’ we’re awfully hard to beat,” Burden said.
SECTIONAL 46 AT PROVIDENCE
EASTERN PEKIN 51, CRAWFORD CO. 32
CRAWFORD COUNTY (17-6)
Brenna Hammond 2p; Courtney Puckett 1p; Kendra Covele 4p; Adalina Simpson 3p; Rachel Schwartz 1p, Carley Allen 16p, Jeanine Jellison 3p; Kaylee Grizzel 2p.
EASTERN PEKIN (17-7)
Veronica Judson 2p; Taylor Drury 10p, 6r; Rachel Stewart 17p, 8s; Savannah Emmert 4p, 6r; Isabell Claywell 16p; Caylee Graves 2p.
PROVIDENCE 52, HENRYVILLE 34
Cheyenne Brooks 6p; Olivia Jenkins 4p; Sydney Milliner 1p; Brooke Hayden 3p; Natalie Boesing 3p; Hannah Wolford 12p; Claire Rauck 17p; Mia Fougerousse 6p.
Vayla Ryan 3p; Reagan Hensley 1p; Peyton Ottersbach 3p; Darian Nipper 15p; Hannah Nunn 4p; Kennedy Easton 6p; Kenzie Rappe 2p.