GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Pioneers tame Lions for home win

Jan. 18—CLARKSVILLE — The Providence Pioneers defended home court at the Larkin Center with a 62-50 triumph over the Rock Creek Academy Lions on Wednesday night.

The victory for the Pioneers was their 14th straight all-time against the Lions. The series dates back to the 2009-10 season.


Providence's offensive attack in the first quarter was key to the victory as it outscored Rock Creek 17-12. The Pioneers went on a 10-run with freshman Jayda Kempf leading with six points while sophomore Addison Smith tallied four.

"We came out with some great energy and focus," Providence assistant coach Sean Smith said. "We were able to get some things done right off the bat and take a lead. We have a habit of throwing that first punch and then we don't continue to counter-punch."

The Lions countered with a 7-0 run with junior Rylan Byars hitting a trifecta to spur the offense. Rock Creek cut the lead to 12-11 and trailed 17-12 after eight minutes.

The Lions outscored the Pioneers 15-13 in the second frame. Rock Creek's Chloe Carter made a jumper to knot the game at 24-all with 2 minutes, 50 seconds to play in the half.

After a turnover by each team, Providence sophomore Kamden Pierce made a go-ahead layup off a turnover and added two free throws for a 28-24 lead. Providence led 30-27 going into the locker rooms.


Providence built a 34-29 lead before the Lions started to come back in the third period.

Rock Creek junior Nevaeh McWilliams made a clutch trifecta for the Lions' second lead of the game, at 36-35. But Providence's sophomore Avery Smith answered with a layup on the other end.

McWilliams made a layup for the Lions to take a 40-37 lead with 3:57 left in the third frame. The Pioneers answered by going on a 5-0 run to retake the lead at 45-40. Providence led 48-43 going into the final frame.

Providence's defense limited Rock Creek to three field goals with sophomore Aleeyah Brown coming off the bench and hitting two. Providence's focus was on sophomore Kelis Dansby, who had been averaging 12 points per game. Dansby finished with seven.

"Molly Richards did a great job of guarding Dansby one-on-one and Livy Theobald pressured the ball and made it available for other players to get deflections and steals," Coach Smith said.

The Pioneers' defense totaled 16 steals, which led to fast-break opportunities. Smith and Kempf benefited from the steals on defense.

"Anytime we play defense we want to get stops and it was really good in the fourth quarter," Coach Smith said.

Seven Pioneers (14-7) scored in the game with Addison Smith leading with a game-high 19 points and Kempf adding 16. Sophomore Kaia Kailer finished with seven while sophomores Livy Theobald and Avery Smith contributed six apiece.

"When we play our best, we get contributions from everybody," Coach Smith said. "I have always felt like good high school teams can have several different players that can have their day in the sun. We have a lot of weapons and people have to pick their poison. A lot of Addison and Kempf's points came in transition and they were able to capitalize."

McWilliams led the Lions (11-11) with a team-high 15 points while Carter tallied 10.


Both teams are idle until next week.

The Pioneers head to Shawe Memorial for a 7 p.m. Tuesday night matchup. Meanwhile, Rock Creek entertains South Central at 7:30 p.m. next Thursday night.



Rock Creek 12 15 16 7 — 50

Providence 17 13 18 14 — 62

Rock Creek Academy (11-11): Nevaeh McWilliams 15, Chloe Carter 10, Kelis Dansby 7, Jayli Smith 6, Aleeyah Brown 6, Rylan Byars 3, Ryleigh Newton 3.

Providence (14-7): Addison Smith 19, Jayda Kempf 15, Kaia Kailer 7, Livy Theobald 6, Avery Smith 6, Kamden Pierce 4, Molly Richards 4.

3-point field goals: Rock Creek Academy 4 (Byars 1, Dansby 1, McWilliams 1, Newton 1); Providence 3 (Kempf 2, Kailer 1).

Free throws: Rock Creek 6-7, Providence 13-19.