Senior Ashley Johnson scored 25 points, including the go-ahead free throws with 24 seconds left in the game, as host New Washington came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat Providence 48-46 Tuesday night in girls’ high school basketball.
“We threw everything we had at her,” Providence coach Brad Burden said of Johnson.
But it was poor free-throw shooting by the Lady Pioneers — combined with some late-game turnovers — that allowed New Washington to close out the game on a 14-5 run.
“This is a big win,” New Washington coach Terry White said. “Hopefully it will get us going in the right direction.”
Providence (11-4) led 38-32 going into the fourth quarter and 41-34 after an offensive rebound and 3-pointer by freshman Claire Rauck.
The Lady Pioneers were still up six following a 3-pointer by Michaela Hoke with 4:31 left.
But New Washington kept coming. Courtney Amick’s three moments later made it a single-possession game for the Lady Mustangs. Johnson followed with a basket after a Providence turnover and New Washington was down one — 44-43 — with 3:20 to play.
Bayley Wade scored the final points for the Lady Pioneers, her driving layup making it 46-43 with 2:10 left. But Providence went 0 for 4 from the line, with two of those misses the front end of the bonus, in the final 41 seconds. For the game, the Lady Pioneers hit just 3 of 13 free-throw attempts.
“A common theme in our four losses,” Burden said of the free-throw woes. “We just missed free throws and had turnovers late.”
Johnson, meanwhile, was taking the game over. Her basket with 48 seconds left made it 46-45, setting up her game-winning free throws moments later.
Providence had a chance in the final seconds, but a steal by New Washington’s Lexie James sent her to the line with 5 seconds left. She hit one of two for the final margin.
“We knew we had to hang in there,” said White. “We’ve tried to emphasize defense this past week.”
Providence went on top early, using an 8-2 run capped by a Rauck 3-pointer to take a 10-4 lead midway through the first quarter.
Amick was the answer for the Lady Mustangs. Her put-back, followed by two 3-pointers, helped New Washington to an 8-1 run and a 12-11 lead at the 1:11 mark. Johnson followed that with two straight baskets in the final minute and New Washington led 16-11.
Providence responded with a three by Taylor Smallwood as time ran down and it was 16-14 at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was considerably tighter. Back-to-back baskets by Rauck helped the Lady Pioneers to an 18-16 lead, Johnson answered with a 3-pointer to put New Washington on top 19-18 with 6:20 left in the half.
Those were the first of seven lead changes and two ties during the second quarter as neither team led by more than two points. A 3-pointer and a fast-break layup in the final minute of the half by Wade helped Providence to a 26-25 lead.
The score was tied at 31-31 after Johnson scored at the 4:45 mark of the third quarter. Providence pulled out to a five point lead on a basket by Smallwood, followed by her steal that set up a 3-pointer by Rauck midway through the quarter. Leading 36-31, the Lady Pioneers took a 38-32 lead into the fourth.
For the game, Amick finished with 12 points for New Washington (7-6).
“They’re a better team than their record indicates,” said Burden, whose Lady Pioneers were paced by Rauck. She had four 4-pointers and finished with 18 points. Smallwood added 14.
– Rauck 18, Wade 9, Smallwood 14, Hughes 2, Hoke 3.Providence (11-4)
– Abbott 4, Haymaker 2, Amick 12, Johnson 25, James 1, Schindler 2, Holloway 2.New Washington (7-6)
– Amick 3, Rauck 4, Smallwood 1, Johnson 1, Hoke 1, Wade 1.3-point goals