Shawe’s Ethan Stuart (54) blocks a shot during the Hilltoppers’ game against Providence at home on Saturday. (Photo by Stephanie Hellmann)
Shawe’s Ethan Stuart (54) blocks a shot during the Hilltoppers’ game against Providence at home on Saturday. (Photo by Stephanie Hellmann)
Shawe’s efforts on the floor matched Providence step-for-step but the Pioneers had the advantage in terms of execution and pulled away to a 64-43 boys basketball victory on Saturday night at the Meny Gymnasium.

The Hilltoppers put their bodies on the line and for three quarters stayed with a heavily favored Pioneer team but despite Shawe’s gutsy play, Providence persevered. The Pioneers used a 21-8 fourth-quarter run to seal the win and tack on Shawe’s second loss of the weekend.

“I said at the beginning since I took over here, all I ask is that we battle for 32 minutes,” Shawe head coach Dan Hambrick said. “I’m not going to give up, my guys aren’t going to give up and we are going to battle. Playing teams like we did tonight and on Friday against Oldenburg are going to make us better at the end of the year. These games make us better.”

Shawe spent the first half riding the hot-shooting of Henry Grote to keep up with a well-balanced Providence scoring attack.

While Zack Johnson scored six points to pace Providence in the first frame, Grote scored five points as Shawe trailed just 11-8 at the end of the quarter and Grote’s hot streak continued into the second as he used the 3-point shot to his advantage.

Grote drilled three 3-pointers in the second period, giving him 14 points in the first half. Sterling Huber caught fire and answered Grote’s barrage with three of his own and a free throw for 10 points in the quarter to give Providence a 26-19 halftime lead but the Hilltoppers were still in position to strike heading into the second half.

“Henry kind of had a rough night on Friday from the 3-point line,” Hambrick said. “Friday night he hit the first three and we thought OK here we go but then he struggled. Tonight he hit the first three and then the second one. Somebody hits like Henry the whole momentum changes. We were just a few points out at halftime and I thought we had some good looks to put us in that position.”

Unfortunately for the Hilltoppers, Grote’s shooting cooled off considerably and Providence raced out to its first double-digit lead of the night, using eight more points from Huber and nine points by Austin Grantz to increase its advantage.

Down by as many as 13 points, Shawe battled back, using eight points from Ethan Stuart to get back on track and trim the deficit to 43-35 heading into the fourth quarter but the Pioneers had picked up enough steam to go on their own fourth quarter run and run away with the win.

Grantz scored six points and Huber added two buckets to again pace Providence. Grote and Stuart, who had combined for 26 of the team’s points through three quarters, were each held to two points in the final frame and the offense never recovered from not having its two top scorers in rhythm at the end.

“Yet again, another night where we face a long and athletic team,” Hambrick said. “Tonight it was hard to matchup and the difference was this Providence team was so physical. It’s really tough to match up and even when we think we are blocking out or doing some things well, we just can’t overcome matchup problems. We knew it was going to be a tough weekend and now we have to take the lessons learned and get ourselves ready for the rest of this month and February.”

Providence (8-3) was led by Huber’s 22 points while Grantz scored 18. Nine different players reached the score column for the Pioneers.

Henry Grote finished with 18 points to pace Shawe while Stuart scored 10 points in the second half en route to 12 points.

Shawe, now 6-7, hosts Trinity Lutheran on Friday night before traveling to Columbus Christian on Saturday.

———

SATURDAY’S BOYS GAME

at Madison

PROVIDENCE 64, SHAWE 43



PROVIDENCE 11 15 17 21 — 64

SHAWE 8 11 16 8 — 43



PROVIDENCE (8-3) — Huber 22, Grantz 18, Z. Johnson 8, Sexton 7, Fougerousse 2, Wall 2, Finnegan 2, J. Johnson 2, Hutchins 1, Murphy 0, Simmons 0, Beatty 0.

SHAWE (6-7) — H. Grote 18, Stuart 12, May 6, J. Grote 5, Goins 2, Cole 0, Powers 0.



3-Point Goals — Providence 6 (Huber 5, Sexton 1), Shawe 7 (H.Grote 4, May 2, J. Grote 1). Total Fouls — Providence 12, Shawe 20. Free Throws — Providence 18-22, Shawe 6-9. Fouled Out — Shawe: Cole.