CLARKSVILLE, Ind. — Someone would be hard pressed to slide a thin piece of paper between Brownstown and Providence.
This time, the paper fell in favor of the Pioneers. Providence needed an overtime to slip past Brownstown 57-55 Saturday night.
“That was a battle,” Providence coach Andrew Grantz said. “I’m worn out. I can’t imagine how the boys feel. … (The Braves) are one of the most dangerous offensive teams in the state.”
In the last 15 minutes, neither team led by more than three points.
“It’s a very big win,” said Providence senior Alex Judd. “They’re a very good team. We knew it was going to be hard from the very beginning.”
The Pioneers (19-2), ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, surged ahead when senior guard Juston Betz drove into the lane and found Landon Sprigler cutting toward the basket. Sprigler grabbed the pass and quickly converted the layup with just four seconds left in overtime.
“(Betz) came off a screen and I just backdoor cut, and I was wide open,” Sprigler said. “It felt great.”
The Braves (20-2), ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, had one last chance and Carson Lambring heaved a long 3-point attempt that bounced off the back of the rim.
“I thought they were the mirror image of us,” said Brownstown coach Dave Benter. “They’re physical. They’ve got guards that like to spread you out and drive the ball. Their post guys are energy guys who can step out.”
Benter said he knew it would be a tough week with games against Floyd Central and at Providence, but he was disappointed with the defensive effort.
“There were so many times when we weren’t disciplined defensively,” he said.
Betz led the Pioneers with 16 points. Dawson Mitchell, held scoreless in the first half, added 11 points for the Pioneers.
“We’ve been waiting for him to have his breakout game,” Judd said of Mitchell. “I think this was it.”
Grantz said Mitchell, who missed most of last season with a knee injury, keeps improving with each game. “But the No. 1 thing is he is enjoying himself,” the Providence coach said. “When he’s having fun, he’s going to play better.”
Derek Rieckers led a balanced Brownstown attack with 12 points. Gavin Bane added 11. Cody Waskom and Carson Lambing had 10 apiece.
PROVIDENCE 57, BROWNSTOWN 55
Carson Lambring 10p; Michael Boshears 3p; Gavin Bane 11p; Ty Maxie 6p; Derek Rieckers 12p; Cody Waskom 10p; Jordan Peters 3p.
Juston Betz 16p; Cullen Ebert 4p; Eli Coker 5p; Nick Boesing 3p; Landon Sprigler 9p; Alex Judd 9p; Dawson Mitchell 11p.