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Cold streak puts Pioneers on ice

Jim Riggio

There are no easy victories in the Liberty League, and the

Providence High boys’ basketball team found that out against visiting

Encino Holy Martyrs.


A lackluster shooting performance in the second half Monday night

led to the Pioneers’ downfall, as they fell to the Armens, 53-52, at


“We were one big play away from winning it tonight, but it didn’t


bounce our way tonight,” Providence co-Coach Paolo Velasco said.

“Offensively, we’re a shooting team and when the shots don’t fall

your way, you have to find other way to win and we didn’t win


After making 10 of 20 field-goal attempts in the first half, the

Pioneers went ice cold in the second half.

Providence (13-3, 6-2 in league) made just one field over 14:53 of

the second half -- a basket by P.J. Sison with 1:50 left in the third



Sison’s basket was the only one the Pioneers made in eight

third-quarter attempts.

Things didn’t get any better in the fourth for Providence, as the

team proceeded to miss its first nine shots.

Coming into the game, Holy Martyrs (13-6, 7-3) could have been

dubbed the sleeper of the league.

“They lost every league game to [Sherman Oaks] Buckley and [L.A.]


Yeshiva by less than three points,” Providence co-Coach Robert Mena


Providence’s Ian Breckenridge-Jackson broke the shooting slump by

scoring with 1:07 to play to make it 47-42.

After Breckenridge-Jackson scored again with 25 seconds left, the

Pioneers forced the Armens to turn the ball over. Frank Catota’s

three-point attempt with 18 seconds left would have cut the lead to

one, but the shot missed.

But Holy Martyrs’ Hagop Darakjian got the rebound and Pioneers had

to foul immediately. Darakjian hit both free throws to give his team

a six-point lead.

After Catota hit a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left, Holy

Martyrs’ Arthur Kiureghian missed a pair of free throws with eight

seconds remaining.

Providence’s Harout Messrelian then hit a 30-foot three-pointer

with three seconds left to cut the lead to one.

However, with no timeouts remaining, the Pioneers couldn’t stop

the clock and the Armens held the ball until time expired.


Holy Martyrs 11 12

14 16 -- 53

Providence 13 15 2

22 -- 52


Darakjian 20, Kiureghian 16, Mansourian 8, Karagoulian

8, Babayans 1.

* Three-pointers: Kiureghian 3, Mansourian.


Breckenridge-Jackson 17 and 14 rebounds, Messrelian 10,

Yousefian 10, Catota 9, Boucher 2, Sison 4.

* Three-pointers: Messrelian, Breckenridge-Jackson, Yousefian,