|Sat, Mar 08, 2014 09:18 AM
February 26, 2014 | 10:55 AM
The North Harrison Cougars saw an eight-point lead evaporate late Friday night at Providence and they fell behind in overtime. Some big plays in the final minutes by the Pioneers pushed the hosts over the top, and the Cougars returned home with a 62-56 loss.
"That's four in a row in almost the exact same fashion," North Harrison coach Greg Walters said. "We've had four games won, and it's just come down to making one play. The kids are making them, and they're trying to do the right things. I'm real proud of our effort."
North Harrison's Cameron Mink splits his way through the Providence defense as he looks for two points in the second half. The Cougars fell in overtime, 62-56. Photo by Wade Bell (click for larger version)
Both teams sputtered in the opening minutes, but Providence got a pair of deuces and a three to go down to take a 7-0 lead. North Harrison finally got on the board when Austin Nolot drilled a three with 3:18 to go in the period.
Minutes later, Cameron Mink scored inside for the Cougars, closing the gap to two. Ben Shahroudi got two in the paint for the Pioneers, but North Harrison's Cory Smith canned two freebies to keep the Cougars within two, 9-7, at the end of the period.
Chandler Jenkins put the Cougars in front with two deuces in the opening minutes of the second period. However, Grant Goad scored inside for the Pioneers and teammate Juston Betz drilled a three. The Pioneers later went up by five when Goad put in a three-ball.
North Harrison countered with two deuces from Smith and Jenkins to close to within one, 18-17, at the end of the half.
"We were able to keep that pace," Walters said.
While the scoring pace may have been rather slow in the first two periods, it changed in the third quarter. Both teams had a flurry of baskets through the first half of the period, with Nolot scoring for the Cougars to put North Harrison up by five, but Brock Hayden immediately countered for the Pioneers with a three.
North Harrison, however, continued to stay in front, getting free throws from Smith for a 33-30 lead with one quarter to go.
In the fourth period, Joseph Hinton and Smith pushed North Harrison's lead to six. Daniel Schuler scored inside, then Goad got a deuce-and-one to close the gap to one. Smith quickly countered with a pair of three-balls, extending North Harrison's advantage back to seven.
After missing three straight field-goal attempts, the Pioneers rallied with a 7-2 burst to pull to within one, 46-45, following a three by Hayden.
The two teams traded free throws, then Alex Flock scored for the Cougars. However, with a second on the clock, Goad drilled a three for the 49-all tie to send game into overtime.
"Then, we weren't able to make plays," Walters said. "We fouled a guy shooting a three-pointer on an inbounds. It was just freaky stuff. It was just the way the ball bounces sometimes. The foul on the three-pointer was a kind of slap-on-the-wrist kind of call. It could go either way, and they got it."
Jenkins scored the first two points of the extra four minutes, but Providence countered with four, taking a 53-51 edge. Mink got a North Harrison free throw, but Shahroudi countered with two.
From there, the Pioneers controlled from the free-throw line, and the Cougars watched as the Pioneers pulled away for the 62-56 win.
"They got an NBA-and-one where the guy picked up the ball, ran down the lane, laid it in the goal and they gave him the basket, too," Walters said. "That was a big play in that stretch. It shouldn't have even been a basket, but that's just part of the game. We gave up a three down that stretch."
Smith led the Cougars with 18 points, and Jenkins followed with 12. Nolot added 10 for the Cougars, who hit 16 of 46 field-goal attempts (35 percent) and 13 of 16 free throws. North Harrison had 15 turnovers.
"In (Class) 2A and 3A, we've played some pretty good teams and had a really few good teams beat and down the stretch they were able to make some plays we weren't," Walters said. "But I'm real proud of the guys' effort. I'm just disappointed we weren't able to get it done."
Goad led Providence with 21 points, and Hayden finished with 11. Betz had 10 points for the Pioneers, who were 19 of 51 from the field (37 percent) and 16 of 24 from the charity stripe. Providence had just 11 turnovers.
"We'll just keep working," the North Harrison coach said. "The thing that's positive is Providence is a really good team and Clarksville is a really good team. They were No. 1 in the state in 2A. It was the same situation. We had both teams beat. We had Crawford County beat with 40 seconds to go. Just a few plays here or there."
"Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, and, by now, we should be pretty strong," Walters said. "Maybe we'll be able to learn from all these and make the plays when we need to and come out victorious here down the stretch."
North Harrison 7 10 16 16 7 – 56
Providence 9 9 12 19 13 – 62
North Harrison (7-11) – Hinton 4, Smith 18, Nolot 10, Flock 5, Jenkins 12, Mink 7
Providence (12-5) – Goad 21, Betz 10, Shahroudi 6, Hayden 11, Watson 3, Judd 2, Schuler 2, Koerner 7
3-point goals – North Harrison 5 (Smith 2, Nolot 2, Flock); Providence 8 (Goad 2, Betz 2, Hayden 3, Watson).