Providence Day closed strong at the right time.
The Chargers outscored Hough 18-9 over the final 4 minutes, 26 seconds for a 66-54 win in the finale of the Charlotte Hoops Challenge at Myers Park on Saturday to even their record at 2-2. Hough pulled to within 48-45 on a pair of Connor Whipp free throws, but Providence Day responded with a decisive run that started with forward Grant Williams’ dunk on the next Chargers possession.
“They made a run and we knew they were going to make a run because they did the same things last year,” said Williams, who scored 15 points. “We were prepared for it and that dunk was super special.”
That basket boosted Providence Day on the defensive end of the floor as well as the Chargers scored 10 of the next 12 points to push their lead to 60-47. Despite a game-high 27 points by North Carolina recruit Luke Maye, Hough (2-1) was limited to four field goals during that span.
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“We had to pick up our defense because if we didn’t we knew they could come back and beat us,” Williams said. “Coach (Brian Field) just kept saying guard your yard and we played with them. We knew we had to key on Luke because he was having a phenomenal game.”
Said Hough coach Jason Grube: “It was a lack of execution. We hit panic mode with about 2:37 left and we wanted to extend the game, but I had to burn timeouts in the first half to keep the game close and Luke having foul trouble didn’t help much.”
Three Chargers broke double-figures, led by forward Josh Howard, who scored half of his team-high 20 points in the fourth quarter, including 8-of-10 free throws. Guard Chaz Raye added 11 and was a disruptive defensive force with several steals that Providence Day turned into transition baskets.
“We play off each other and we do everything with each other,” Williams said. “After that we just keep each other up.”
The Chargers used their offensive balance to grab a 32-25 lead at intermission, powered by Williams and Raye, who scored nine and eight points respectively. While Maye led Hough with 16 in the first half, Providence Day made a point of daring the other Huskies to supplement his scoring.
“It’s going to happen all year but they did a good job on him,” Grube said. “They’ve got four or five 6-5 guys in there and that helps out the length. That’s something we haven’t seen this year.”
Providence Day: Josh Howard 20, Grant Williams 15, Chaz Raye 11, Lee 7, Johnson 6, Wertz 5, Peterson 2.
Hough: Luke Maye 27, Friday 7, White 6, Cole Maye 5, Murphy 4, Grigg 2, Sweetman 2, Post 1.