GLENDALE — After watching the Providence High boys' basketball team shoot, run the floor and defend, Glendale Adventist Academy Coach Marc Gupilan understood why the Pioneers are the top-rated team in CIF Southern Section Division V-A.
"They are really disciplined with how they do things and they don't showboat," Gupilan said after Providence recorded a 73-24 Liberty League road win against Glendale Adventist on Thursday night. "They run their plays well and they take a lot of good shots.
"With my team, I want them to learn from how Providence plays and stay focused."
The Pioneers (15-3, 3-0 in league) received a game-high 29 points from Marcus LoVett Jr. and 24 from Patrick Gonzalez en route to winning their seventh game in a row. The Cougars, who dropped to 0-3 in league, had no answer in countering Providence's electrifying up-tempo offense and pressurized defense.
The Pioneers led the entire game. They outscored the Cougars, 27-3, in the second quarter to build a 47-11 halftime lead.
"Everything we do is predicated on playing defense," said Providence first-year Coach Ernest Baskerville, who got 12 points and 12 rebounds from Christian Ware-Berry. "You have to be able to play defense because that's where it all starts.
"Patrick and Marcus compliment each other very well. Everybody is used to Patrick, but with Marcus now here, they are a 1-2 punch that you have to respect."
Gonzalez had 22 first-half points, including 12 first-quarter points. He made a three-pointer to give the Pioneers a 16-4 advantage with 1:31 left in the opening quarter.
LoVett, a freshman, had 17 in the opening half. Gonzalez finished with eight rebounds and LoVett added a game-high six steals before both were removed midway through the third quarter.
LoVett recorded a steal and scored on a layup to give the Pioneers a 38-8 lead with 3:05 left in the second quarter.
"We've been working real hard at practices to get us ready for the games," LoVett said. "We are a well-rounded team and we want to be good at more than one thing.
"We wanted to get out to a fast lead. We've been progressing every day."
Glendale Adventist, which will meet Providence at Providence at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 1, received a team-best 10 points and six rebounds from Michael Abandy and eight points and seven rebounds from Gregory Guillen.