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Providence girls’ basketball fails to overcome Campbell Hall’s second-half surge

Providence’s Audrey Sayoc takes off on a fast break with Mayfield’s Courtney Gangi in pursuit in a P
Providence’s Audrey Sayoc, seen here in a 2018 game against Mayfield, cut the Vikings’ lead to 43-38 with a three-point play with 1:36 remaining, but a trio of free-throws held off the Pioneers from completing a comeback.
(File Photo)

BURBANK — The first-half defense the Providence High girls’ basketball team deployed held its own.

The man-on-man coverage approach was enough to maintain a one-point halftime lead against Campbell Hall.

However, adjustments on the offensive end translated to defensive success for the Vikings, which allowed them to get by the Pioneers’ match-ups and even outmuscle Providence in the post.

Providence was unable to shake off Campbell Hall, and fell, 46-38, in a Providence Summer League girls’ basketball game Thursday at Providence High.

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“Sometimes we’ll press a team that normally, in the regular season, we wouldn’t, so we give them a little bit of life, offensively, and I think we did that against Campbell Hall,” Providence coach Andrew Bencze said. “What it does is it doesn’t allow us to match up like we normally do in a straight man defense and that’s what slows down their shooters. What was disappointing in the second half was that we were playing man-coverage for most of the half, and yet we still had trouble matching up and staying in front, and with, their scorers.

“In the end, it frustrated us and we were a little ragged. We stopped doing the little basic things that make us good, especially defensively — screening out, talking on pick-and-rolls and challenging shooters. We weren’t really playing like a unit. Like a team.”

In the second half, the Pioneers, which were without All-CIF Southern Section sophomore Jyah LoVett, who is spending the summer focusing on academics, struggled to score baskets on offense, and had a difficult time with Vikings’ scorer Lulu Davis and rebounder Alline Ballard.

After a strong effort to keep up with the Vikings in the and holding a 17-16 lead at halftime, the Pioneers were outrebounded, 16-9, in the second half and were outscored, 30-22. On the offensive glass, Campbell Hall had a 10-2 advantage over Providence in that span.

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“What was happening was that they were getting by our initial defenders,” Bencze said. “We had a couple of kids who weren’t defending well and they made good moves and got to the basket. That’s what creates situations where people are coming off their man to help and it creates offensive rebound opportunities. So by beating us in penetration, they were making us do something that we’re just not ready to do at this point, which is to really rotate and help with our defense.”

Davis, who finished with 19 points and five rebounds, scored consecutive three-pointers at the start of the second half to set up her own 8-0 scoring run that gave Campbell Hall a 24-21 lead, it’s first advantage since the 10:51 mark in the first half.

“In the second half, we switched our offense,” Campbell Hall coach Alex Canty said. “We started running motions so we could have more space on the floor because we realized we were getting the looks. The right player had the ball, but the spacing wasn’t there, so we made that adjustment at halftime to get better spacing.

“Instead of us coming down and taking two dribbles, passing it and then shooting it, we passed the ball a couple of times and got the defense shifted. I think that’s why Lulu Davis was able to get those 19 points because she had a lot of good looks.”

As the Campbell Hall offense began to click, Pioneers guard Sydney Sayoc was the only Providence player to score in a span of 8 minutes, 45 seconds as the Vikings led, 31-28, with 11:15 remaining in the half.

The Vikings continued to have second-chance opportunities thanks to Ballard, who finished with six points and 10 rebounds, eight of which were off the offensive glass. Her combinations, alongside teammate Madison Holden midway into the second half, created a 39-30 advantage for Campbell Hall.

“I realized the Providence offense ran through Audrey Sayoc,” Canty said. “What we do is basically a box-and-one. They sent us on a lot of screens, but the assignment was for whoever had her, they couldn’t help. Once we did that, we noticed we slowed down their offense and we were able to capitalize on that with our steals and other things of that nature.”

The Vikings held their largest lead, 43-32, after another put-back from Ballard with 6:48 left.

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Audrey Sayoc cut the Vikings’ lead to 43-38 with a three-point play with 1:36 remaining, but a trio of free-throws held off the Pioneers from completing a comeback.

Sayoc finished with a team-high 11 points.

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