Charlestown's defense too much for Providence in holiday tourney

Charlestown's defense too much for Providence in holiday tourney

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Charlestown's defense too much for Providence in holiday tourney

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The Charlestown girls’ basketball team picked up the defense, allowed just seven points in the second half and swallowed Providence 53-34 Saturday night in the finals of the 38th annual Charlestown Girls’ Holiday Basketball Tournament.

Charlestown broke Silver Creek’s string of three straight holiday tourney titles and won for the first time since 2009.

“Right now, I’m really just happy for our girls,” said Charlestown’s first-year coach, Michael Prichard. “I’m glad they could have this special memory.”

Charlestown (8-2) led 30-27 after Providence freshman phenom Claire Rauck hit three straight 3-pointers with 1:44 left in the second quarter.

“That Rauck girl is just unbelievable,” Prichard said.

Charlestown settled for a 34-27 halftime lead and then held Providence (10-3) to just 1-of-18 shooting in the second half.

“We got a little timid, I think,” said Providence coach Brad Burden. “We’ve got to learn to go up strong and draw the contact, and not be afraid of the contact.”

Burden said his Pioneers couldn’t get their running game going against the Pirates. “We’ve got to score in transition. We want to make it a full-court game.”

Kaitlynn Henning led Charlestown with 22 points, but Prichard pointed to the second-half defense of Jessica Farmer, who guarded Rauck most of the time.

Rauck, who led the Pioneers with 19 points, was held to just four points in the second half.

“She (Farmer) did a real good job of defending her in the half,” Prichard said. “It really disrupted what they were trying to do. Jessica just had a great second half against her. Without her, we really don’t win. Without defense, you don’t win.”

The Pirates owned a 38-23 rebounding edge. Justice Burdin led the way with 18 rebounds and nine points.

Prichard said he still doesn’t have a good barometer on his Charlestown team. “I don’t know how good we are. I do know we don’t quit.”

The Pirates will have a challenging week. They travel to Jeffersonville on Thursday and Brownstown on Saturday.

Providence, meanwhile, just needs a couple of wins for its best season in 10 years.

“We’re happy with the start,” Burden said. “We just need to keep improving.”

In the consolation game, the Dragons (3-9) blitzed the Generals (3-9) with a 17-2 start in the first quarter and Clarksville never recovered.* Silver Creek 51, Clarksville 33:

Kelsi Scott, a 6-foot junior, led Silver Creek with 20 points as the Dragons broke a five-game losing streak.

For Clarksville, the losing string reached seven games despite a 20-point outing by Haley Jenkins.

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