It took the entire first half for the Providence High boys’ basketball team to figure things out before a huge second-half effort got it back on track.
Behind a balanced scoring attack that included impressive performances from Jordan Shelley and A’Jahni Levias, top-seeded Providence posted a 77-64 CIF Southern Section Division IV-A second-round road victory against Pomona on Tuesday.
Providence (24-6) will meet Wiseburn Da Vinci in a quarterfinal contest at 7 p.m. Thursday on the road. It will mark the second time in the last three seasons that the Pioneers, who won the Prep League championship after previously competing in the Independence League, will appear in the quarterfinals.
Providence got 21 points from Shelley and 20 from Levias to help turn aside Pomoina (16-13). The Pioneers received 10 points apiece from Jonas Holt and Bryce Whitaker.
Providence held a 14-13 lead after the first quarter before owning a 32-28 halftime advantage.
“In the first half, we had to get a feel for the rims and they played a confusing defense against us,” said Providence second-year coach Brandon Lincoln, whose team began the playoffs Friday with an 84-45 home victory against Foothill Technology. “In the second half, we started getting some turnovers and we were able to finish at the rim.
“It was a tough place to play. It was cold in the gym and we proved to be battle-tested in those situations where everyone is against you when you are on the road. We got some big efforts.”
Providence extended its lead to 57-43 at the end of the third quarter.
“I’m pleased with the way we played, especially in the second half,” Lincoln said. “We’ll look to carry that over and I’m expecting another tough road game Thursday.”