Without McBirth, New Albany boys slog past Providence 37-31

Without McBirth, New Albany boys slog past Providence 37-31

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Without McBirth, New Albany boys slog past Providence 37-31

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Playing without its best player — Leondre McBirth — the New Albany boys’ basketball escaped from Providence with a 37-31 win over the Pioneers Friday night.

McBirth, who is averaging 18 points, was serving a one-game suspension for violating team rules.

“It’s a tough place to play,” New Albany coach Jim Shannon said. “We’re not used to playing in tiny gyms. We’re really not. … Everything’s more compact. And, they play a different style than just about anybody.

“We’re not playing with our best player; it’s on the road and we didn’t play very well,” Shannon said. “We’ll take it.”

The Bulldogs (12-3), winners in seven of their last eight, appeared ready to take control early in the third quarter, when DeAnthony Warren and Dustin Cochran made back-to-back layups, giving New Albany a 28-20 cushion with 5:34 left in the third quarter.

Then the Pioneers (9-5) started to chip away in a game that showcased a slow, throwback pace.

“I’m from Anderson, Indiana,” Shannon said. “I don’t like games in the 30s. It was like a throwback to 1952. I thought we were going to get a peach basket out there.”

Then with 2:43 left, Providence’s Brock Hayden drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner, cutting the Bulldog lead to 32-31.

From there, New Albany — contributing to the low score — went to the delay but committed several vital turnovers.

Providence, though, couldn’t capitalize. The Pioneers missed their last four shots and last three free throws.

With 28 seconds left, Warren scored a layup on a breakaway, then Davon Winburn and Javen Reeves both hit 1 of 2 throws to seal the win.

Cochran, a senior guard, led the Bulldogs with 13 points, and Warren added eight.

Shannon said they felt fortunate to win the game. “This late in the season, a loss in a game like this does you no good,” he said.

Goad led the Pioneers with 12 points.

“He was a handful for them,” Lefevre said of Goad. “He was able to put the ball in the basket and draw fouls. … He did a good job of being aggressive.”

Lefevre said the Pioneers had plenty of chances but couldn’t finish plays late in the game.

“We were (close),” Lefevre said. “But we didn’t make the plays. We made some stops. But we didn’t make enough.”

Lefevre said they could have won the game. “We have to do better,” he said. “We had the ability to make the plays and we didn’t. It’s disappointing.”

New Albany 11 11 8 7 37
Providence 10 8 6 7 31

– Cochran 13, Bryne 5, Winburn 6, Reeves 3, Warren 8, Hibbard 2.New Albany (12-3)

– Goad 12, Shahroudi 8, Hayden 3, Koerner 2, Hayes 4.Providence (9-5)

— Cochran 1, Byrne 1, Goad 1, Hayden 1.3-point goals

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