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Providence can’t keep up with Butler in sectional semifinal loss – Shaw Local

HARVEY – For 14 minutes Tuesday, Providence Catholic was hanging with the bigger, quicker Lynx of Butler College Prep, a Chicago Public League power, in their Class 3A Thornton Sectional semifinal.

Then the height of the Lynx – who have two starters at 6 feet or taller in Sereniti Adams and Xyanna Walton, and a 6-foot-4 sub in LaNyra McGill – began to take its toll.

“They were reaching over our heads,” said Celtics Gabi Bednar, who at 5-6 is tall for a teenage girl but not in comparison to the Lynx.

They reached over and reached around and ran past and sometimes simply jostled the Celtics out of the way, scoring a 65-34 victory over Providence (18-16) to advance to Thursday night’s sectional final against Marian Catholic.

“It’s a big team,” coach Eileen Copenhaver said of the Lynx (23-10). “They picked us apart a little bit.”

Though not early.

The Celtics, despite erratic shooting, trailed only 26-20 after Bella Morey’s 3-pointer with 2:07 left in the half. Then the Lynx commenced a 16-0 run across 8:34 to grab a 42-20 lead.

That was it.

Even an earlier 14-minute delay to clean up blood after Butler’s Yahri Smith was inadvertently elbowed in the head – the lack of a mop for too long causing most of the delay – didn’t slow the Lynx.

“We were right there in the game and then. … It was a game where we needed a little more offense to keep our positivity up on the other end,” Coperhaver said. “And we didn’t do it. But I’m really proud of the kids.”

Bednar led Providence with nine points, with sophomore Eilish Raines adding eight points. But Providence’s output was like raindrops against the Niagara of points Butler poured in. Adams scored 16 points spilt evenly between each half, sophomore Xyanna Walton scored 14 and older sister Xamiya Walton added 10, eight in the final period.

“Defensively, we had a little bit of scheme going, but were a little bit too small,” Coperhaver said. “For a good part of the game, we had some young kids out there, so hopefully they learned from this nice group of seniors.”

Bednar, tears in her eyes after the game, is among that group.

“They started getting in our heads a little bit at the end, realizing there was literally nothing we could do,” Bednar said. “We tried not to give up, forget it and go on to the next play.”

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