Providence High boys’ basketball freshman Marcus LoVett Jr. tried to will his team to a win in the Southern California Regional of the CIF State Division V Basketball Championships.
LoVett poured in 42 points, but it wasn’t enough to save the No. 13 Pioneers from a 68-62 loss Wednesday on the road to No. 4 Mission Prep of San Luis Obispo in an opening-round game.
“He tried. He did all that he could,” Providence Coach Ernest Baskerville said of LoVett. “We just didn’t get the job done.”
The loss ends a historic season for the Pioneers (26-5). Not only did Providence win its first Liberty League championship in 13 years, but it also advanced to the CIF Southern Section IV-A final for the first time after the program had not gotten past the quarterfinals before. Making the state tournament was also a first for Providence.
LoVett ends his freshman campaign scoring 1,036 points this season.
Unfortunately, LoVett didn’t have much help against Mission Prep (24-6), as the Pioneers’ next-highest scorer was Patrick Gonzalez with 10 points.
“We played hard and I can’t be upset with the guys,” said Baskerville, who is in his first season. “They worked their butts off against a very good team.”
The game was tight throughout, as the Pioneers trailed at the half, 33-27.
Providence took a brief lead in the final moments of the third quarter, but Mission Prep battled back.
“It was a battle the whole fourth quarter. It was really back and fourth,” Baskerville said. “No one led by more than four points in the fourth.”
The Royals were able to sink their free throws late in the fourth to preserve the victory.