There was something that was shared by the Providence High girls’ and boys’ basketball teams and the Burroughs boys’ soccer squad during the 2018-19 season.
All three teams played in competitive leagues, all qualified for the CIF Southern Section playoffs and the trio also all won postseason contests.
There is something else the teams have in common: all have players who were honored with All-CIF first-team awards, as the CIF office released its lists encompassing all divisions Monday.
In boys’ basketball, Pioneers juniors A’jahni Levias and Jordan Shelley were named to the Division IV-A first team, while junior Bryce Whitaker was a second-team selection.
In addition, Providence coach Brandon Lincoln was named the division’s coach of the year.
In Division II-A, Burbank High senior Miles D’Agostin was named to the second team.
In girls’ basketball, Providence freshman Jyah LoVett earned a spot on the Division IV-AA first team and senior Ariel Gordillo was a second-team honoree. Burroughs High sophomore Faith Boulanger earned Division II-AA second-team recognition.
In boys’ soccer, Burroughs sophomore Manny Gonzalez was recognized on the Division III first team.
“It’s just exciting to see the guys recognized for their efforts among a lot of very good players,” Lincoln said. “We didn’t approach this season with the mindset to go out and get accolades are anything like that.
“I think it’s always good when you get recognized for the work that you put in and hopefully it’s an incentive for these guys to work even harder next year to recreate the energy that we closed out this year with.”
Of all the teams during winter season, Providence boys’ basketball enjoyed the most success. After some tough nonleague games and some challenging tournaments, the Pioneers (28-8) celebrated their first season in the Prep League with a championship, going 8-0.
In the Southern Section Division IV-A playoffs, Providence advanced to only the program’s second championship, falling to Ribet Academy, 56-45. The team continued to make history by winning two games in the CIF State Southern California Regional Division IV playoffs, losing to in the regional semifinals to Silverado, 50-41.
Shelley, Levias and Whitaker were big contributors in the Pioneers’ historic postseason run. While Shelley averaged 16.8 points and five rebounds a game, Levias averaged 13.8 points and nine rebounds and Whitaker averaged 9.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 5.1 assists and two steals.
“Every one of those guys, and really everyone on our team, plays a very important role for us in different ways,” Lincoln said. “They all put in the work to be successful and to get better, and that is reflected in them being honored.
“For our guys, the playoff run was really special. We really had no expectations about what we were going to do, we just kept coming out and trying to play the best game possible.”
D’Agostin averaged 26.3 points for Burbank (17-12, 8-6 in league), which placed fourth in the Pacific League and lost in the first round of the playoffs to La Cañada, 57-43.
“He just came in an carried the offensive load for us,” Burbank coach Ernest Baskerville said. “He deserved it and he earned it. He worked very hard for us this season … He just did a lot for us this season.”
LoVett established herself as a player to be reckoned with very early in her freshman campaign. LoVett, whose brother, Marcus, was a Southern Section player of the year at Providence, helped the Pioneers to a 16-3 record and a third-place finish (7-5) in their inaugural season in the Prep League.
In the Division IV-AA playoffs, Providence earned a 62-41 win against Sherman Oaks Notre Dame in the first round before succumbing to Ramona, 37-30, in the second round.
For the season, LoVett averaged an impressive 20.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and four steals a game.
“She is simply one of the best players in the whole division, there’s no doubt,” Providence girls’ basketball coach Andrew Bencze said. “It’s hard because you don’t have everyone’s scoring average in the division, but she’s got to be, if not the leading scorer, one of the leading scorers in the division.
“She kind of did everything for us. And only being a freshman, she has only scratched the surface of really what she can be as a player.”
Gordillo averaged 12.4 points four rebounds and 2.9 steals a game.
“As talented as Jyah was coming in as a freshman, Ariel was more steady, smooth, ‘I’ve been there, done that’ kind of senior player. And we knew she could be a scorer.
“Playing with Jyah made her better.”
Burroughs (21-8, 10-4 in league) finished in a three-way tie for third place in the Pacific League. The Indians were eliminated in the playoffs in the first round by Walnut, 43-38.
It was Boulanger’s second-straight season earning second-team honors. She averaged 15 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.1 blocks, 1.9 steals and 1.5 assists a game.
“She improved on her game from last year to this year,” Burroughs coach Vicky Oganyan said. “As a freshman, she played more around the basket ...but this year I thought she improved her perimeter game. She kind of got out of her comfort zone, which was good.”
With Gonzalez, a forward, leading the way, Burroughs (15-6-3, 10-2-2 in league) captured the Pacific League championship. In the Division III playoffs, the Indians earned a 1-0 first-round victory against Ventura before falling in the second round to West Torrance, 1-0, in overtime.
“This is definitely a well-deserved award for Manny,” Burroughs coach Mike Kodama said. “But when you look at it, these awards are really team awards. It’s difficult to get this kind of recognition, especially with him being a 10th-grader.”
Gonzalez continued to make history during his sophomore campaign with another successful effort. He set the Burroughs record for goals by a sophomore with 18, to go along with nine assists. A season ago, Gonzalez set the Indians freshman record with 16 goals.
“The thing is from his freshman year, he got better,” Kodama said. “That’s always what you want.
“A lot of his success has to do with not so much scoring goals, but all the little parts of the game. Things like working off the ball and things like that. Yea, he scored a lot of goals, but he set up a lot of goals, too.”