The Floyd Central girls’ basketball team made just enough plays in the last few minutes to hold off visiting Providence 45-42 Thursday night, but Highlanders coach Kirk Hamsley still didn’t seem happy.
“We just don’t compete right now,” he said. “We need to find some players who will get after it and play hard. We’re just not doing that right now.
“The thing is, we’re just not playing hard.”
Still, the Highlanders (10-9), who had lost six of their previous seven games, broke a three-game losing streak as the sectional tournament approaches.
“It was good to get a win,” Hamsley said. “Providence played hard. Give them a lot of credit.”
Providence led 39-38 before Floyd Central’s Brooke Hinton hit a 12-footer with 1:09 left. After a couple of Providence turnovers, she added two free throws with 50 seconds left to make it 42-39.
After the teams exchanged three free throws apiece, Providence had one last chance, but Nichole Tucker missed a 3-point try from the right corner with two seconds left.
Abbie Engle paced the Highlanders with 11 points.
Pioneers coach Brad Burden said he can’t complain about his team’s effort.
“We played hard,” he said. “(But) we’re not popping champagne because we came within three points of Floyd.”
Just when Floyd Central would start to pull away, the Pioneers (10-9) would drill a 3-pointer. They hit eight in all — two each by Tucker and Elizabeth Aubrey and four by Meredith Endris, who scored a game-high 20 points.
“We’re a good shooting team,” Burden said. “We have three kids who can really shoot the three.”
But for Providence, the problem was turnovers — 28 of them.
“Basketball is an easy game — defend, rebound and take care of the basketball,” Burden said. “We did two of those things.”
Floyd Central enjoyed a considerable edge at the free-throw line, hitting 19 of 32 while Providence hit 8 of 13.
Providence (10-9) – Endris 20, Hoke 4, Tucker 8, Aubrey 6, Karem 2, Hughes 2.
Floyd Central (10-9) – Price 2, Kaiser 2, Rost 5, Hinton 10, Burger 4, Kingsley 9, Engle 11, Roth 2.
3-point goals – Tucker 2, Aubrey 2, Endris 4.