Providence tops Jeff for first time in nine years

Providence tops Jeff for first time in nine years


Providence tops Jeff for first time in nine years


With 10 upperclassmen listed on its 11-man roster, Providence’s calling card this season, per coach Andrew Grantz, has been its experience – and it was on full display Saturday night.

The host Pioneers (11-1) jumped on visiting Jeffersonville (8-6, 2-2 Hoosier Hills) early and held on for a 53-50 win over the Red Devils – the Pioneers’ first in nine years. Jeffersonville entered the matchup having won the past eight meetings. Prior to Saturday’s win, Providence’s last victory over the Red Devils came on Jan. 12, 2008.

“It’s exciting for the school,” Grantz said. “We talked to the team before the game, and I told them, ‘I don’t really care who it is across the court.’ … It’s about us executing game plans, us executing scouting reports and doing the things that we want to do to be the best that we can. … It means a lot.”

Senior guards Juston Betz and Eli Coker paced the senior-laden Pioneers with a combined 28 points and five assists. Coker tallied a game-high 15 points, while Betz added 13, four rebounds and three helpers. Senior forward Alex Judd added nine points. Junior forward Gerrin Moore posted 14 points for the Red Devils, and junior guard Bailey Falkenstein chipped in 11.

Providence began the game on a 7-0 run and led 13-2 with 3:11 showing in the first quarter after a 3-pointer by Betz. Jeffersonville answered with a 5-0 run, but the Pioneers led 15-7 after one by way of a 5-for-8 shooting clip, which included 2 of 3 from 3-point range. Jeffersonville turned it over six times in the opening period.

A 3-pointer from senior guard Sam Conrad opened second-quarter scoring for Providence, and after six straight by Coker, the Pioneers led by 10. The hosts took a 26-14 lead into the break. The Red Devils went 5-for-16 in the first half all the while committing eight miscues. The Pioneers shot 9 of 18 from the floor and 3 of 5 from 3.

“We said the game plan going in was that Jeff wanted to play an up-tempo game,” Grantz said, “and we really wanted to try to control the tempo, take our time and be patient – just stay disciplined. They had a very good week of practice. That week of practice, being locked in and focused, led to the execution tonight.”

Moore’s third field goal cut the Red Devils’ deficit to 30-21 late in the third quarter, but Betz answered with back-to-back 3-pointers sandwiched in between a bucket by Jeffersonville freshman forward Tre Coleman. Providence led 38-26 heading into the fourth after a buzzer-beater from Judd.

The Red Devils, who went 5 of 9 in the third quarter, came alive in the final period. Falkenstein and Moore began the quarter on a 6-0 run to bring the visitors within 38-32 with 5:08 left. Jeffersonville freshman point guard Jacob Jones made it a one-possession game with a minute remaining, and the Red Devils cut the deficit to two points on three more occasions down the stretch.

“There was some energy that finally was found by our players (in the second half),” Jeffersonville coach Joe Luce said. “They began to play with a lot different speed in the halfcourt offensively. They attacked the ball, they moved the ball. They made shots, and that’s because they passed the ball and they moved the ball. When that happens, good things are going to happen for your team.”

The poised Pioneers had an answer, though. Betz, Judd and junior guard Cullen Ebert went 6-for-6 from the line in the final minute.

“The No. 1 quality with us is the experience and the leadership,” Grantz said. “I thought they stayed poised the entire game.”

Providence 53, Jeffersonville 50

Pioneers (11-1): Juston Betz 13p, 4r, 3a; Eli Coker 15p, 2a; Cullen Ebert 6p; Landon Sprigler 2p; Sam Conrad 4p; Alex Judd 9p; Dawson Mitchell 2p, 5r

Red Devils (8-6, 2-2 Hoosier Hills): Bailey Falkenstein 11p, 4r, 3a; Gerrin Moore 14p; Jacob Jones 5p; Joe LaGrange 6p; Cam Northern 2p; Tre Coleman 4p, 4r; Gabe Gallahar 1p; Mike Minton 7p

Providence guard Juston Betz shoots a three-pointer over Jeffersonville guard Jacob Jones. 14 January 2017

Providence guard Juston Betz shoots a three-pointer over Jeffersonville guard Jacob Jones. 14 January 2017


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