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Guards, Pioneers already looking to next year

The outcome of Saturday’s annual cross-town clash between the

Bellarmine-Jefferson and Providence girls’ basketball teams was less

than 15 minutes old, and already Pioneer Coach Andrew Bencze was


looking to next year’s intracity showdown at Providence gym.

“It’s nice that we’ve created a rivalry where the kids can be in a

game [with this kind of atmosphere],” said Bencze, whose squad lost

to Bell-Jeff for the second straight season with its 50-35 setback.


“But it’s frustrating, because now we have to sit and wait another

year for our shot.”

After his squad played three consecutive days en route to winning

the St. Genevieve Tournament in Panorama City, Bell-Jeff Coach Bryan

Camacho feared that his team might be competing on tired legs.

But the Guards fed off their home crowd at the Keating Memorial

Gymnasium to overcome a slow start and knock off a young Pioneer



“What you saw out there was two teams just playing hard,” Camacho


"[Providence] just wouldn’t go away, and they kept pushing us, but

we changed it up a little bit in the second half, and it worked to

our advantage.”

For Bencze, he hopes playing in games the caliber of Saturday’s

will help his team prepare for the CIF Southern Section Division IVA

playoffs in February.


“It’ll definitely help us out in the long run because it was a

game that had a playoff-type intensity,” Bencze said.

“Hopefully it will inspire our kids to look a little harder [at

how we compete]. [Saturday] we didn’t measure up, and now we have to

move on.”

Hoop shoot set for McCambridge Park

Boys and girls 8 to 13 will get a chance to show their basketball

skills at an event on Saturday at McCambridge Park Recreation Center


The annual Hoop Shoot free-throw-shooting competition, sponsored

by Burbank Elks Lodge 1497, will take place from noon to 4:30 p.m.

Divisional winners will get a chance to compete in regional

competition in January. Regional winners will earn a spot in the

national competition.