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Teams bolstered by transfers

Area teams, especialy Providence and Bell-Jeff, have influx of new players.

November 22, 2011|By Jeff Tully, jeff.tully@latimes.com

All four area boys' high school basketball teams have been bolstered this season by transfers.

While the makeup of Burroughs High and Burbank won't be changed much by the new incoming talent, Providence and Bell-Jeff will likely field teams that will only vaguely resemble the squads that took the floor for the respective programs a year ago.

The Guards are coming off the most successful season, as they won the Santa Fe League championship for the first time in 13 years.

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The Bulldogs and Pioneers both made the CIF Southern Section playoffs, but were bounced in the first round. The Indians were the only group that didn't make the postseason.

Here is a closer look at how the teams are shaping up.

PROVIDENCE

The Pioneers (13-12 last year and fourth in the Liberty League) could have the most exciting and talented group in the city. Ernest Baskerville has taken over as coach of a program that liked to run and gun last season, but enjoyed just limited success.

"We are going to play a little differently than last year," said Baskerville, who added that he will stress a strong defensive presence, something the Pioneers didn't possess last season. "We will still score points, but with the defense we can score off deflections and steals.

"We're looking pretty good, and I think we're going to be pretty good."

Returning for the Pioneers is senior Patrick Gonzalez, who is coming off one of the most successful seasons in city history. He broke school records in everything from points in a game (52), to free throws made (134), to most three-pointers in a game (11) to most three-pointers in a season (137).

According to maxpreps.com, Gonzalez ended the season with the highest scoring average and the highest three-point average (six a game) among players in California. The junior averaged 37.8 points and 11.5 rebounds a game. In addition, along with scoring 869 points, Gonzalez tallied 30 or more points in 19 games and 40 or more in 10 games.

On the school's career scoring list, Gonzalez has 1,468 points and trails Barry Dabbaghian (1,555) by just 87 points.

With a more balanced offense this season, Baskerville said Gonzalez won't be called upon to put up such gaudy numbers.

"We have some people around Patrick this season, so that should help him," Baskerville said. "He realizes his role has changed some and he's been willing to do what it takes and he's been very receptive."

Joining Gonzalez is athletic freshman Marcus Lovette Jr.

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