It was senior night for the Providence High girls’ basketball team as
it hosted the Sherman Oaks Buckley School in a Liberty League
With the CIF Southern Section playoffs looming next week, the
Pioneer seniors are hoping their 50-39 victory Wednesday is not the
last of their careers in the Providence gym.
Although the Pioneers (19-4, 10-2 in league) finish in second
place in league, there is no guarantee they will get a home game for
the first round of the Division VAA playoffs.
“I don’t mind if we have to play on the road the first game,”
Providence Coach Andrew Bencze said. “What we are more concerned
about is getting a good draw.
“These seniors have worked hard playing for us over the years, and
it would be nice to get them a few games in the playoffs. We have won
only one playoff game in our history.”
The Pioneers stayed in the hunt for a league title until last
weekend, when they fell, 43-39, Feb. 8 to L.A. Windward, which
Providence isn’t ranked in its division, but has played well
against some top-ranked teams.
On Jan. 27, the Pioneers defeated Encino Holy Martyrs -- ranked
No. 1 in Division VAA -- 42-34. Providence defeated the Armens a
first time in a tournament in December, 47-45, and a third time on
Monday, 48-44, in double overtime.
The Pioneers gave Windward -- No. 2 in Division IV -- all it could
handle in the loss at Providence.
In December, Providence beat Santa Maria Valley Christian -- No. 3
in Division VA -- 65-41.
“We have had some success this season,” said Bencze, whose squad
won a championship in the Santa Maria Valley Christian Tournament.
“We just need to be prepared for the playoffs.”
Providence used the final game of the regular season against
Buckley as a tune up for the playoffs.
The Pioneers dominated the game from the outset, jumping out to a
28-13 lead at the half.
“It’s kind of a tough situation when it’s senior night,” Bencze
said. “We want to make sure we give the seniors a chance to play,
because we never know what’s going to happen once we hit playoffs.
“But we also want to make sure we win and that we are doing things
right out there.”
Bencze emptied his bench in the fourth quarter and gave his
reserves some playing time.
Selina Tech paced the Pioneers with 12 points. She also had seven
rebounds. Teammate Natalie Guzman had 11 points, 19 rebounds and four
steals and Tanya Tabrizi had eight rebounds.
Windward 5 8 18 8 -- 39
Providence 10 18 16 6 -- 50
Weaver 16, Schechter 16, Clancy 3, Ghani 2, Ganduna 2. *
Three-pointers: Schechter 5, Weaver
Tech 12 and 7 rebounds, Guzman 11, 19 rebounds and 4 steals, S.
Estreller 6, Arboleda 4, J. Estreller 4, Scroth 3, Campbell 4,
Tabrizi 4 and 8 rebounds, Bouldoukian 2. * Three-pointers: Tech 2,