Hornets swarmed early, often, can't recover in third-place game

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Careless passes by Medora early in the game led to points for Providence.

The Pioneers turned deflections and steals into 12 points, and they jumped ahead 22-5 through one quarter and went on to claim a 55-34 victory Saturday for third place in the seven-team Henryville Tip-Off Tournament.

“Providence is probably the most aggressive defensive team as far as playing the passing lanes and anticipating that,” Hornets coach Brad McCammon said. “I told the kids it was going to be that way. I said, ‘They are not necessarily a team that’s got a lot of size, but they are all good shooters, they all can handle the ball, they play the passing lanes.’

“Providence was very good at deflections. They may not steal the ball, but they deflected it and their teammates got it, and they anticipated that.

“Early on, we just weren’t making ball fakes, and we weren’t making pass fakes, and they were reading our eyes,” he added. “They came out and double-teamed and attacked us, and we were kind of like deer-in-the-headlights for the first half.”

After 16 first-half turnovers and only 11 points, McCammon said he challenged the team at halftime.

“I said, ‘There’s one of two ways this can go. You’ve got 11 points at halftime, and you can go out the second half and be frustrated and complain and make excuses, or you can go out and play and see what you can do to close this game back in,’” he said. “I think they gave me the answer.”

Midway through the third quarter, Providence held its largest lead of the game, 44-12. Trailing 46-18 going into the fourth quarter, Medora outscored Providence 16-9 in the period, with five girls contributing to the scoring.

Ashley Lambert had eight of her team-high 11 points in the second half, and Hannah Elkins finished with 10 points.

“I thought they showed a lot better effort in the second half,” McCammon said. “It’s a learning experience. In this tournament, I think we’ve grown up some. There are some things that we learned that we can do well, and there are some things we’ve got to get better at. I don’t think it hurts you down the road to play three (Class) 2A schools in a tournament. We were able to hold our own for the most part, but we obviously dug ourselves a big hole tonight.”

Meredith Endris and Taylor Smallwood each finished with 12 points to lead the Pioneers (2-1).

Medora is 2-2 going into Friday’s home game against Cannelton.

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