By MITZI THOMPSON
The date and the venue were different but the outcome was pretty much the same as the Charlestown girls’ basketball team cruised past host Providence 50-21 Friday night in the Robert I. Larkin Center.
It was just three weeks prior that the Pirates (7-8) defeated the Pioneers by a similar score of 50-20. Friday’s win was the fourth straight for Charlestown, which has gone undefeated in 2013 after a 3-8 start to the season.
“We’re playing much better in the second half of the season, for sure,” said Charlestown coach Sam Terrell. “That’s what every coach wants to see, things clicking and coming together at this time of the year.”
On Friday, the Pirates came together and out-rebounded the Pioneers 31-19 and utilized a relentless full-court press that never allowed Providence (8-7) to establish any semblance of an effective offense.
“The pressure was the big thing,” said Terrell. “And we use a variety of different presses and defenses. We like to keep switching it up and keep [teams] off balance.”
That defense helped hold Providence to just three made field goals in the second half.
“The pressure, of course, kept us from scoring,” said Pioneer coach Brad Burden, whose team shot 8-of-53 from the field, including 2-of-26 from three-point range.. “But shots just weren’t falling for us tonight. Two for 26 3-pointers, that’s terrible. That’s usually one of our strengths, our 3-point shooting. We’re normally a better outside shooting team than we showed tonight.”
Senior guard Meredith Endris was the sole Pioneer to hit double figures, scoring 12 points, including four during a 7-0 run early on when Providence’s zone defense briefly shut down the Pirates and managed to stay within striking distance.
“Once in a while, we have a little trouble with the zone,” said Charlestown sophomore Justice Burdin, who scored 18 points. “Sometimes we just have to slow it down and be patient and adjust.”
Charlestown managed to do just that, and countered the Pioneers’ run with a 20-4 tear for a 34-17 halftime lead. Burdin scored eight during the run, and her teammate Kaitlynn Henning chipped in eight as well and also finished the game with 18 points.
“A big win like this is definitely a confidence builder,” said Henning. “Winning this and starting [the new year] 4-0 is big for us. We just need to keep playing well and keep the streak going.”
The Pirates return to action Tuesday at New Albany. Providence also plays Tuesday when it visits Rock Creek.