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Pioneers have mixed results in regular-season finales

It was senior night for the Providence High girls’ basketball team as

it hosted the Sherman Oaks Buckley School in a Liberty League

contest.

With the CIF Southern Section playoffs looming next week, the

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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

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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

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weekend, when they fell, 43-39, Feb. 8 to L.A. Windward, which

finished first.

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.

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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.

*--*

BOX SCORE

*--*

*--*

Windward 5 8 18 8 -- 39

Providence 10 18 16 6 -- 50

*--*

*--*

WINDWARD

Weaver 16, Schechter 16, Clancy 3, Ghani 2, Ganduna 2. *

Three-pointers: Schechter 5, Weaver

PROVIDENCE

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,

Guzman, Scroth

*--*


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