February 6th, 2016

Holy Family nabs Southern Indiana crown

Block_eric thorne

Eric Thorne

Staff Writer

Holy Family nabs Southern Indiana crown
Sterling Huber scored 16 points for Providence, but Holy Family won the seventh/eighth-grade championship of the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries A league / photo by Eric Thorne

Holy Family beat Providence Junior High 38-35 to win the seventh/eighth-grade boys’ championship of the New Albany Deanery Catholic Youth Ministries A league Saturday at Providence High School.

Grant Gohmann was solid in the middle for the winners and said the hard work his team has been putting in paid off. Reminiscent of the movie “Hoosiers”, the small Southern Indiana team has something to prove.

“Now we get to go and take on teams near Indy and show them just how a little catholic school from Southern Indiana isn’t going to be afraid of the big ones,” Gohmann said. “I’m very confident that we can beat them and win it all.”

With its third win over Providence this season, Holy Family (10-0) moves on to the Catholic Youth Organization’s Archdiocese of Indianapolis tournament next week at Providence, where it will face St. Bartholomew, a squad from Columbus.

“We had won kind of handily the previous two times (against Providence) and you try and tell the kids it’s never easy each time, and today was proof,” Holy Family coach Barry Schueler said. “We have some size on them and that worked previously, but they tried some junk defenses today that really worked and got us off our game. Sometimes the underdog plays harder and that was the case early on with them.”

Holy Family jumped out to a 4-0 lead on baskets by Austin Grantz, but Providence answered behind the outside shooting by Connor Hazen, who scored the Pioneers’ only points of the first quarter. However, Holy Family pushed the lead to 14-5 at the end of the period on Kyle Bansbach’s three-pointer.

Both teams had difficulty getting a basket in the second quarter, but Nathan Popp drained a pair of threes – including one from the right side of the arc with 19 seconds left – to pull the Pioneers within 19-13 at intermission.

Providence (7-3) made a furious comeback in the third quarter with baskets in the paint by Colin Flake and then a layup by Hazen with 2:13 left that drew the Pioneers within 23-21 and forced Holy Family to call a timeout. Hazen finished with 10 points.

The Pioneers tied it for the first time on Sterling Huber’s runner. Huber scored seven of his team’s points in the quarter, but a three-point play by Gohmann pushed Holy Family ahead 28-24 at the end of the period.

“We’ve been working hard, but we believe in ourselves despite that they seemed to come out with more intensity,” Gohmann said. “We turned it on in the last quarter, but I was a little worried when they started coming back.”

Gohmann finished with 12 points to lead Holy Family, while Austin Barnett chipped in 10 and Grantz nine.

“All three of those kids are eighth graders and really contribute a lot, and give Austin credit – he made big free throws when we needed them and Grant was big inside,” Schueler said.

Providence hung tight in the final quarter, staying with four points and as close as one, but Barnett sank 4 of 7 foul shots to help secure the win for Holy Family.

“I don’t think about it when I went up to shoot them and I wasn’t feeling any pressure because I knew I could make them,” Barnett said. “We just need to keep practicing hard, stay confident in ourselves and win again next weekend. I think winning for a third time showed you have to be able to fight back. Most importantly, we won the game.”

Huber had a shot to tie the game at the final buzzer, but his attempt from midcourt was of the mark. He finished with 16 points.

“Our kids played so hard and tough, but we had a chance and just came up a little short,” Providence coach Scott Hutchins said. “We ask Sterling to do a lot, but all the kids really battled and I’m very proud of them the way they fought after two losses to them this season.”

Providence also will move on in the CYO tournament but will travel to Indianapolis to play Seaton Catholic from Richmond on Saturday.



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