Providence Christian caught fire from 3-point land early and Houston Academy’s nine-game winning streak in the rivalry game ultimately went up in smoke.
Collins McClintock hit six of the Eagles’ 10 3-pointers in the first half and scored 23 overall as Providence held on for a 62-60 Class 3A, Area 4 win at Houston Academy on Friday night.
“My teammates were doing a great job finding me open and I was feeling confident after I hit a couple and was lucky enough to see a good many go down,” McClintock said of the first half shooting.
Before Friday night, the Eagles’ last win over the Raiders came on Jan. 15, 2016, by a 43-38 score. Houston Academy had dominated the series since that point until Providence Christian turned the tables in the first meeting between the two this year.
The Eagles (10-8, 2-0) appeared to have the game in hand with two minutes left in holding a 58-47 lead before the Raiders (5-14, 1-2) came storming back behind some aggressive defensive pressure.
Seventh grader Kadyn Mitchell drilled a 3-pointer for HA, Stefan Stevanovic scored on a layup following a Raider steal and Providence then turned it over again.
Stevanovic was fouled and hit the first of two free throws to make it 58-53 with 1:03 left. After the second free throw missed, HA came down with the rebound and Stevanovic hit a jumper in the lane to cut the margin to 58-55 with under a minute to play.
The Raiders forced another Eagles’ turnover and the Raiders’ Mitchell launched a 3-pointer in an attempt to tie it up that just was off the mark and the ball was tied up with 36 ticks left. The possession arrow favored Providence.
When play resumed, Jackson Colley drove the lane and scored while being fouled and hit the free throw for a 61-55 lead with 31.3 left.
Stevanovic scored on a drive with 24.2 left to make it 61-57, but the Eagles’ Hayes Lewis hit one of two free throws to make it 62-57 with 20.5 left.
Mitchell swished through a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it a two-point margin.
Abe Chancellor followed McClintock in scoring for Providence with 13 points, while Cole Smith added 12.
McClintock said the second half came down to determination.
“It was two teams playing at a really intense level, and when you get two teams that are playing intense and playing good defense, it kind of comes down to grinding it out and making free throws and finishing around the rim,” McClintock said.
Stevanovic led HA in scoring with 24 points and Mitchell tallied 14.
The 10 3-pointers for Providence in the first half accounted for all but five of its points in the first two quarters in building a 35-26 halftime advantage.
Besides McClintock’s six 3-pointers in the opening half, Smith had three and Chancellor one.
Houston Academy relied more on an inside penetration game to keep it close despite the hot outside shooting by Providence.
The Eagles held a slim 45-42 lead after three quarters, the final basket of the period coming on a drive and bank shot by McClintock just before the buzzer.
Providence scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter before Houston Academy got a basket inside by Ethan Morales with 3:21 left followed by a 3-pointer by Morales to make it 54-47 in setting up the exciting finish.
Providence Christian girls 54, Houston Academy 43: Autumn Mayes poured in 22 points and got hot from beyond the 3-point line in the second half in leading the Eagles.
With Providence holding a 31-26 lead during the early minutes of the second half, Mayes hit three 3-pointers to account for the Eagles’ next nine points in building a 40-31 advantage with 2:05 left in the third quarter.
Leading 44-35 going into the fourth quarter, Providence scored the first four points of the second half in leading 48-35 following an Emma Houston made free throw.
Houston Academy stayed within distance at 50-41 with 2:20 left when Ashlyn Conner scored on a leaner and Branham Hewes hit one of two free throws.
But Mayes answered with a bank shot and the Eagles would hold on for the victory.
The score swayed back-and-forth in the first half.
The game was tied 12-12 at the end of the first quarter and at 18-18 early in the second following an inside basket by Hewes.
But Providence regained the lead on a putback by Mayes before Emma Williams hit two free throws and scored on a putback to put the Eagles up 24-18.
Providence led 27-24 at halftime.
Shekinah McDaniel followed Mayes in scoring for Providence (8-10, 2-0) with eight points.
Houston Academy (12-5, 2-1) was led by Lauren Baker with nine points, while Conner and Hewes each scored eight.
Houston Academy 45, Providence Christian 37: Houston Academy dominated the second half in taking the victory.
Down 22-18 at the intermission, the Raiders outscored the Eagles 18-5 in the third quarter to take command in leading 36-27 after three quarters.
J. T. Pitchford led Houston Academy with 13 points, followed by Corey Campbell with 11.
Providence was led by Charlie Leger with eight points.