Providence basketball pumps up its offense in CIF win

The Providence High girls' basketball team has been a defense-first squad this season. However, the Pioneers also have the potential to put up big efforts on the offensive end as well.

One of those examples came Saturday night in Providence's CIF Southern Section Division 5-AA second-round game against host Linfield Christian. The Pioneers made 10 three-pointers — five from freshman Fabi Jimenez — to earn an easy 69-44 victory.

"We have our defense, and tonight we played pretty well on defense," said Providence Coach Andrew Bencze, whose team is seeded second in the division and improved to 18-9. "But when we have our offense and defense going together, we're kind of hard to stop. When we do both, we can either outscore you or hold you down."

The Lions had trouble stopping Jimenez, who ended her night with 16 points. Teammate Estelle Glorioso added 13, Janel Adraneda had 12 and Kristie Kawamoto chipped in 10.

The Pioneers, who captured their fourth straight Liberty League championship this past season, got off to a slow start, as they held just an 11-8 lead after the first quarter.

But Providence turned up the intensity in the second quarter, outscoring Linfield Christian, 22-7, to take a comfortable 33-15 advantage into halftime.

"We were adjusting our defense a little early in the game," Bencze said. "We kind of settled down in the second quarter and everything started working for us."

The win puts the Pioneers into the quarterfinals for the second straight season. They will take on Bishop Union at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Providence.

"It will be nice to have that quarterfinal at home," Bencze said.

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