PROVIDENCE HIGH -- Meeting team goals is something the Providence
High girls’ basketball team has focused on this season.
The Pioneers accomplished one goal by notching 20 victories, and
another by winning only the second CIF Southern Section playoff game
in the program’s history.
However, getting past the second round of the Division IVAA
playoffs was one task the Pioneers could not accomplish, as they were
defeated, 62-27, Saturday by Cerritos Valley Christian at Providence
“You always come into the year setting high goals, and these kids
sacrifice so much of their time not knowing what is going to
happen,” Providence Coach Andrew Bencze said. “For this group of
seniors to go 20-5, and win a playoff game, was huge.”
Providence struggled against a team that has been among the top
Division IV programs in the state every year.
Cerritos Valley Christian (19-10) has won 25 league championships
and nine CIF Southern Section crowns under Coach Eleanor Dykstra, who
is in her 30th year. Dykstra picked up her 600th career win earlier
Although the Crusaders came into the game with 10 losses, they
were defeated twice each by Lakewood Mayfair, Van Nuys Montclair Prep
and Brentwood, as well as Lake Forest El Toro and Anaheim Canyon --
all ranked teams. The Crusaders also posted wins over large public
schools Manhattan Beach Mira Costa, Newport Beach Newport Harbor,
Irvine and Downey Warren.
While the Providence loss was a tough ending to a fine season,
Bencze had to make an even tougher decision prior to the game.
The Providence coach dismissed two players from the team after the
pair decided to attend a voluntary school field trip this week. The
players planned to attend the field trip, even if it meant they might
miss a possible playoff game.
“I’ve been coaching since 1990, and I’ve only been disappointed
once before in my players,” Bencze said. "[The two players] simply
chose to go on a trip and it wasn’t mandatory. I let them make the
Without the missing players, the Pioneers seemed out of step.
Senior guard Selina Tech, who has been Providence’s bright spot all
season, ended her career with a team-high six points.
“Selina, is in my opinion, is the best player to have ever played
here,” Bencze said.
Junior Megan Lovingier finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and
eight steals to lead the Crusaders.
Megan Campbell finished with five points and eight rebounds for
Valley Christian 21 16 15 10 -- 62
Providence 5 12 3 7 -- 27
CERRITOS VALLEY CHRISTIAN
Lovingier 23, 12 rebounds and 8 steals, Weaver 13 and 8 rebounds,
Miller 7, Davis 4, Verhoeven 4, Melillo 3, Vander Wal 3, Swain 3,
Session 2. * Three-pointers: Lovingier, Melillo, Swain
Tech 6, Campbell 5 and 8 rebounds, Geralo 3, Guzman 1, Scroth 5,
Kattengil 5, Arboleda 2. * Three-pointers: Geralo, Kattengil,